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When it Comes to Healthcare Marketing, HIPAA Compliance is Paramount

With patients factoring quality and cost into their healthcare decisions, marketing has become necessary to build and grow a medical practice.

Consumerism in healthcare is no longer a trend, but an element that is here to stay. With patients factoring quality and cost into their healthcare decisions, marketing has become necessary to build and grow a medical practice.

When it comes to marketing your practice it is important to be compliant with state, federal and HIPAA guidelines.

A recent article by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services highlights the risks that can be faced when providers do not comply with marketing guidelines.

The article discusses a physical therapy practice that violated HIPAA privacy rules with regard to PHI. This case illustrates a good example of what not to do when using testimonials as part of marketing campaigns.

So, how can you make sure that your marketing plans are HIPAA compliant? One step you can take is through obtaining patient authorizations.

Medical Economics summarized HIPAA patient authorizations in their article, Consider patient privacy when marketing your practice. The article includes information on when patient authorizations are needed, the exceptions and the 10 key requirements necessary when they are required. 

Medical Economics went on to review the FTCA guidelines with regard to endorsements – of which testimonials are considered. 

Your best bet, even if you are using a marketing firm or agency to create your plans, is to enlist the services of a business attorney to make sure you do not end up regretting your marketing efforts. 

If you are interested in further reading on the issue of marketing your practice, be sure to take a look at our Physician Connection Newsletter.

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