If you read medical websites from Georgia, they might seem a little dull. That might be because physicians there have to be careful not to make “flamboyant or extravagant claims” regarding their expertise. But like all our medical website designs, we have the same goal for our Georgia clients: conveying a truthful and tasteful representation of the practice. As always, be sure to discuss your marketing efforts with your legal counsel, who can help you understand all your responsiblities under Georgia law.
Georgia Composite State Board of Medical Examiners
Ga. Code Ann., § 43-34-37, GA ADC 360-3-.02
§ 43-34-37. Refusal, revocation or suspension of licenses to practice medicine; grounds; investigation of fitness to practice
(a) The board shall have authority to refuse to grant a license to an applicant or to discipline a physician licensed under this chapter or any antecedent law upon a finding by the board that the licensee or applicant has: (…)
- (6) Advertised for or solicited patients; obtained a fee or other thing of value on the representation that a manifestly incurable disease can be permanently cured; or made untruthful or improbable statements, or flamboyant or extravagant claims concerning his professional excellence
360-3-.02 Unprofessional Conduct Defined.
O.C.G.A. §§ 43-1-19 and 43-34-37 authorize the Board to take disciplinary action against licensees for unprofessional conduct. “Unprofessional conduct” shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (…)
- (6) Providing treatment and/or consultation recommendations via electronic or other means unless the licensee has performed a history and physical examination of the patient adequate to establish differential diagnoses and identify underlying conditions and/or contra- indications to the treatment recommended. This shall not prohibit a licensee who is on call or covering for another licensee from treating and/or consulting a patient of such other licensee. Also, this paragraph shall not prohibit a patient’s attending physician from obtaining consultations or recommendations from other licensed health care providers.
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:
- Representing that a manifestly incurable disease can be permanently cured.
- Making untruthful or improbable statements about your professional excellence.
- Making flamboyant or extravagant claims concerning your professional excellence.
- Providing online treatment or consultations without first performing a history and physical examination of the patient, unless your opinion is being solicited directly from the patient’s attending physician.
- Making scientific claims that cannot be substantiated.
- 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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