Five Healthcare Marketing Myths: HIPPA Asphyxiation

1) Emailing appointment reminders are prohibited by HIPPA regulations.  Answer: FALSE

I hear a common trend among provider’s. It’s their paralyzing concern that email appointment reminders are practically prohibited by HIPAA. Cutting through the hype, we find that HIPAA themselves show exactly how straight forward emailing PHI to patients actually has been afforded to providers simply (See HIPPA’s FAQ on this exact subject:

2) HIPPA Compliant Email is Cost Prohibitive.  Answer: FALSE

Have you bought into the hype that complying with HIPAA email transmission rules are cost prohibitive for my practice? Francis Ventures provides HIPAA compliant email that competes with Google’s $10 per month business class email service and even handles email encryption to patients. Finally, upon request, we provide automatic patient verification of their email. This is possible by signing our Business Associate Agreement (BAA), and using our documented system for handing email (need to know, etc)

3) A website create greater HIPPA risk exposure. Answer: FALSE

Will website will create a greater HIPAA risk exposure? Not necessarily.  Francis Ventures established HIPAA compliant websites that encrypt data in transit and at rest. We also implement and document website hosting features that meet HIPAA requirements for auditing, back-ups, and disaster recovery. This enables your practice to easily implement common web based technologies to automate your marketing and business practices. Your patient retention will go up, your missed appointments will go down, and the time to reschedule and schedule will also go down.

4) My practice can’t market services to patients digitally. Answer: FALSE

The myth of HIPPA saying no to using PHI to market services to patients digitally just isn’t true. HIPAA encourages a provider to obtain prior written authorization to market to a patient with non face-to-face communications. However, there are two more exceptions to that rule from HITECH.

5) My patients aren’t using the Internet.  Answer: FALSE

Myth — My patients are baby boomers and living in rural America, they don’t check email or research online. Well, study after study shows just how baby boomers use the Internet:

94% use the internet for e-mail
77% shop online
71% are looking for health information
70% use the internet to read news

When implementing these available avenues of marketing, remember some foundational rules. Do not call baby boomers old. Following through on your word is king. Keep your website easy to read and to navigate through (minimum font size is 12 point!), and finally use age appropriate graphics.