DOVER -- In an effort to help prevent identity theft and maintain the privacy of patient medical records, Union Hospital is implementing the federal "Red Flag" rules. Beginning August 1, all patients registering at Union Hospital were asked to provide a government issued photo ID in addition to all the information that has always been requested, such as their full name, date of birth, address and insurance card.Carey Gardner, director of development and community relations, says the Federal Trade Commission regulations include hospitals. "The federal Red Flag rules apply to hospitals and are designed to prevent somebody from using a stolen ID to receive healthcare, register under false pretences, and prevent fraudulent access to a person's medical records," Gardner said.Gardner says patients coming to the hospital, any Union Hospital off-campus center, or hospital-owned physician practice, will be asked for a government issued photo ID. If the patient does not have a photo ID, such as a driver's license, state issued ID card, passport, or military ID, other acceptable forms of identification would be a Society Security card, a local utility bill or employer or school identification card."No one will be refused care because they didn't bring acceptable identification with them," Gardner said. "Patients will be asked to bring appropriate documents to their next visit."Gardner said the identity of patients who register without the required documentation will be reviewed. If there is reason to believe the registration was made using a stolen identify, that person will be notified as will the local police, as required by the federal regulation."We've been following the new federal law asking patients for a photo ID for a number of weeks now and it has not been a problem," Gardner said. "Most people appreciate that we're taking the extra step to protect their personal medical records and combat identity theft."