Let’s discuss your advertising strategy.
What are the guidelines for marketing a healthcare practice? Federal, state, and local laws seek to protect consumers through laws and regulations. If your strategy runs afoul of them, you could jeopardize your reputation, license, financial standing, and, in some cases, your freedom.
Is this really a legal thing?
Yes. Here are a few examples to illustrate why an attorney can help vet your advertising campaign.
- Qualifier words like best, expert, or superior are often regulated by state practice acts or ethical rules.
- Federal law provides recourse for unfair competition and misuse or appropriation of another business’s trademark or service mark.
- Express or implied guarantees, claims, or promises may increase the chances of getting sued.
- Certain providers’ websites are required to display privacy information relating to how they treat protected health information.
- Service offerings must fall within a provider’s scope of practice.
- Testimonials must be included only when privacy rules have been followed.
- Discounts and referral bonuses must not violate privacy, referral fee, and kickback laws.
- Specific requirements govern what names and titles you may use in identifying yourself and your business.
- Claims about the benefits of your services must be sufficiently supported by fact.
Learn more about our advertising review work.
Common questions about healthcare marketing include:
- Can I advertise discounted packages for healthcare services?
- Can I target ads to particular sub-populations without breaking the rules prohibiting discrimination?
- Can I offer specials, promotions, or referral bonuses?
- Can I respond to negative reviews on Google, Yelp, etc.?
- If I financially benefit from selling a third-party product or service to my patients, do I have to disclose it in the promotional materials in my office?
- Do I have to follow any particular rules for ads placed on social media?
- Can I offer incentives to get former clients back in the door? Can I email, call, or send mail to them?
- Can I offer incentives to get Medicare patients in the door?
- Can I use a different or shortened business name on my materials?
When is the right time to seek advertising review?
We find that the earlier you receive guidance on your marketing efforts, the better. In fact, we believe that advertising review should begin during the start-up phase, when you can uncover issues with your tradename or logo and shape a compliant launch plan. Plus, you may find that the principles that you learn from your first promotional campaign translate to future campaigns.
Reach out to one of our healthcare attorneys to learn more about how we can help you market your business in compliance with federal laws as well as those in your state. We offer a free consultation where you can share your goals and get to know more about us.