PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Has your physician or other health care provider asked you for a photo ID?  It could be because of a controversial federal push against identity theft, and who exactly has to take part.

While medical identity theft is only a small part of the overall problem, the FTC seemed likely to try to extend its Red Flag Rules to doctors. The AMA and others objected because the law covered “creditors” and, while medical practices often defer billing, it’s not credit in most senses.

A supposed fix signed in December still left much to FTC rule making. Fred Jacobs, general counsel of the New Jersey Hospital Association, says members need clear guidance.

“They want to provide the medical care and not somebody’s having their identity stolen or their credit card information stolen,” he said. “Hospitals are 100% behind identity theft prevention.”

In the absence of final rules, patient ID requirements may be spotty.

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio

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