Do’s and Dont’s For Medical Practice Website Compliance

If you operate a medical practice, you can’t afford to not have an online presence. Websites and social media pages are indispensable to any business, including those in the healthcare industry. However, medical practices are subject to a different set of rules designed to protect patients.

These rules often extend to the content that is placed online. The Oracle Legal Group works with medical practices to help ensure they comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Here we offer some suggestions for what to include (or not) in your websites and social media pages.

Call us today at 832-291-2798.

Tips for Medical Practice Online Compliance

Whether your medical practice has a website, Facebook page, or another type of digital marketing, knowing the law is critical. These are some content suggestions for your advertising and other online space.

List the Medical Services that You Provide.

Certain terms can potentially be misleading to patients who are searching for medical care. For instance, the term “home health care aide” is similar to home aide and home care aide. However, the latter terms usually refer to professionals who do not provide healthcare services. To avoid allegations of false advertising and other issues, clearly list the services your medical practice provides.

Explain the Patient’s Payment Options.

Not all medical practices accept Medicare, but potential patients might assume yours does. If your business accepts Medicare, be sure to inform visitors to your website or page. However, do not state or imply that your business is Medicare-certified if in fact it isn’t.

Another suggestion is that you list any alternative payment options that your patients can select. If your practice does not accept a particular form of payment, your website should state this.

Healthcare online compliance

Be Careful Not to Violate HIPAA.

Most medical professionals are already familiar with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This law covers numerous aspects of a practice’s operations. However, some businesses inadvertently allow their websites to violate the law. A HIPAA-compliant website is required to collect, display, store, process, or transmit protected health information. Our legal team can assist you with this.

Don’t Use Patient Testimonials Without Express Written Consent.

Many medical websites use patient testimonials to bolster the healthcare providers’ experience and skills. Your practice should only use a testimonial that has been obtained from the patient using a carefully drafted consent form. Without one, a patient could accuse you of publicizing his or her private health information in violation of HIPAA rules.

What Happens if You Face an Audit or Other Legal Action?

Certain medical practices, especially those that accept public funds, are subject to government investigations. For instance, the Texas Office of Inspector General has audit authority over healthcare businesses that accept taxpayer money. The objective is to reduce fraud and waste within the state’s health and human services industry.

A medical practice could find its website under scrutiny for the way it does business. This is especially true if the business is accused of fraudulent, misleading, or inaccurate representations to potential and actual patients. Your practice could also be accused of running afoul of HIPAA and other privacy rules.

In the event your practice becomes the subject of an investigation or lawsuit, we are ready to defend your rights and interests. We can represent you during an investigation and work to reach an amicable resolution with regulators and officials. The same is true if a lawsuit is filed against your medical practice. In many cases, disputes with the government or a patient can be resolved in mediation.

Serving the Legal Needs of Your Texas Healthcare Business

Have you considered how the content of your medical practice website could cause legal problems? Have an experienced Texas business lawyer review your online presence and existing operations. We can advise you of deficiencies and make recommendations for compliance-related improvements.

Call the Oracle Legal Group today at 832-291-2798. We are experienced in Internet law and serving healthcare businesses.

RECENT POSTS

Do’s and Dont’s For Medical Practice Website Compliance

Do’s and Dont’s For Medical Practice Website Compliance