As you can see when you view Florida’s administrative code and statutes (see the reference citations below), the Sunshine State has passed extensive regulations of medical marketing campaigns. The rulemakers seem particularly concerned with making sure a physician claiming to be “board-certified” has received certification from a reputable board, and also that physicians appropriately use healthcare PR and marketing referral services. To help you advertise in a legal and ethical manner that follows all relevant laws, be sure to discuss your marketing plans with your attorney.
Florida Board of Medicine
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:
- Advertising in a false, deceptive, or misleading manner. Such advertising includes that which contains a misrepresentation of facts, makes only a partial disclosure of relevant facts, creates false or unjustified expectations of beneficial assistance, or offers services you do not expect to perform.
- Advertising a fee that does not accurately represent what will be charged for a particular service, or that does not disclose all variables affecting the fees that will in fact be charged.
- Claiming that your qualifications, skills, or other attributes are superior to other physicians.
- Failing to conspicuously identify yourself by name in the advertisement and to state that you are a medical doctor (M.D.).
- Referencing a specialty certification without identifying the name of the specialty board that has awarded specialty certification.
- Implying specialty or sub-specialty in a particular area without first having received specialty recognition.
- Failing to keep a copy of your website or any other electronic media you use for advertising purposes (such as TV, video, or radio broadcasts).
- Advertising discounted or free services, exams or treatments without displaying the disclaimer language in Florida Statute 456.062.
- Making scientific claims that cannot be substantiated.
- Assuring a permantent cure for an incurable disease.
- 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.
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