For physicians thinking of marketing medical services in Washington, D.C., the District has a few laws you and your legal counsel need to be aware of. Practitioners are subject to discipline if they use their license fraudulently or deceptively, which almost surely includes engaging in fraudulent healthcare advertising, though for specifics, be sure to talk with your attorney about your medical marketing materials.
District of Columbia Board of Medicine
DC ST § 3-1205.14
(a) Each board, subject to the right of a hearing as provided by this subchapter, on an affirmative vote of a majority of its members then serving, may take 1 or more of the disciplinary actions provided in subsection (c) of this section against any applicant, licensee, or person permitted by this subchapter to practice the health occupation regulated by the board in the District who: (…)
- (2) Fraudulently or deceptively uses a license; (…)
- (14) Pays or agrees to pay anything of value to, or to split or divide fees for professional services with, any person for bringing or referring a patient
Sample Best Practices
We’ve developed some sample best practices to help you get started discussing your medical marketing with your legal counsel in more detail. Find out if you need to take steps to avoid the following:
- Engaging in fraudulent or deceptive advertising.
- Making scientific claims that cannot be substantiated.
- Assuring a permanent cure for an incurable disease.
- Claiming professional superiority without supporting the claim with objective evidence, or using hyperbole when describing your techniques or results.
- Showing patient before and after photos without indicating that results vary and the results shown are not a guarantee.
- Showing models without clearly indicating that the photos are not of actual patients.
- Saying you are board-certified without including in any advertising the name of the board that has certified you.
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