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    Marketing tips for healthcare practices

    Marketing efforts on behalf of doctors should be approached with care. Physicians should be mindful of ethical and professional obligations, regulatory concerns and the manner in which they promote their services.

    Ethical implications

    Physician marketing must be truthful and accurate.

    An advertisement cannot exclude facts that may influence a patient’s decision-making process.  

    Doctors cannot advertise services that are beyond their capabilities or experience. Practices must not suggest that the services performed or materials used are superior to other physicians’ services or products. Likewise, doctors must be careful about advertising as a specialist. Finally, advertisements cannot guarantee, suggest or imply results from treatment.  

    Patient privacy 

    Doctors must not reveal patient information in their advertisements.

    This includes any identifying information, such as personal facts, data, photos or videos. De-identifying patient information is complicated and should be approached with proper guidance. If a practice wants to broadcast a patient testimonial with any identifying information, a compliant release must be signed first.

    Free & discount services

    Providing patients with free or discounted services must be approached with care.

    There are limitations on how and when free or discounted services may be advertised. For example, some states regulate the amount of time that must pass before a doctor can charge for services after a free consultation or service.  


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