Identity Theft Rules Postponed Again

Just got another reprieve yesterday in having to follow some questionable new government regulations. A court ruling delayed the application of FTC regulations regarding identity theft to physicians. While I sympathize with attempts to stop identity theft, am I supposed to refuse to provide medical treatment if someone comes to my office without a driver’s license? Many of my patients are disabled and do not drive, meaning they might not have ID on them. If I’m going to still see people who don’t have identification there is not much point in asking to see it.

Medical groups have been fighting these rules for quite a while and there have already been many postponements, which is a good thing. On the negative side, once again the Republicans played politics with Medicare payments again. The House passed a correction to the flawed formula which would have brought about a huge decrease in reimbursement but the Senate will not be able to pass it until they return from the Memorial Day recess. As long as it passes quickly the automatic cuts can be restored retroactively as has already occurred this year.