Like a few other states, Kentucky doesn’t allow the use of testimonials in healthcare advertising. Its regulations appear to apply to all types of advertising, including the use of medical websites. To learn about all of the marketing laws that may apply to your practices, be sure to contact your legal counsel.
Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure
201 KAR 9:018
Section 1. This administrative regulation shall apply to all physicians licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy in the Commonwealth. It shall apply in regard to all advertising of whatever type and wherever published.
Section 2. Advertising may be by any medium provided that the advertisement is not in any manner fraudulent, misleading or deceptive.
Section 3. The following may not be advertised:
- (1) Testimonials of patients as to the physician’s skill or the quality of his or her professional services;
- (2) Claims regarding the physician’s experience, competency and quality of services which imply that he or she possesses an exclusive and unique skill or remedy;
- (3) Claims which cannot be readily verified by objective standards; and,
- (4) Any representation expressly prohibited under KRS 311.597(2).
Section 4. An advertisement may be sent to an individual addressee only if that addressee is one of a class of persons, other than a family to whom it is sent at the same time. An advertisement may not be sent to an addressee if prompted or precipitated by a specific event or occurrence involving or relating to the addressee as distinct from the general public.
Section 5. Violation of any provision of this administrative regulation will be considered dishonorable, unethical or unprofessional conduct of a character likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public or a member thereof pursuant to KRS 311.595(8) and 311.597(2).
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 fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive manner.
- Using patient testimonials regarding your skill or the quality of your professional services.
- Claiming or implying that you possess or offer an exclusive and unique skill or remedy.
- Making any claims that are not objectively verifiable.
- 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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