Maryland has a slightly longer list of healthcare marketing restrictions than most other states, but many of the restrictions simply clarify the requirement that a physician not make misrepresentations. A physician marketing medical services as a specialist in an area of medicine must be sure to comply with the requirements regarding Board certification (.12 B.(10)). To make sure your practice is in compliance with all aspects of Maryland’s laws, be sure to contact your attorney for review of all marketing materials.

More Information

Oversight Body:
Maryland Board of Physicians

Reference Citation:

Selected Excerpt:

A. A physician may place advertisements with directories, newspapers, periodicals, and radio or television stations.

B. An advertisement may not contain:

  • (1) Statements containing misrepresentation of facts;
  • (2) Statements that cannot be verified by the Board for truthfulness;
  • (3) Statements likely to mislead or deceive because in context the statements make only a partial disclosure of relevant facts;
  • (4) Statements intended to, or likely to, create false or unjustified expectations of favorable results;
  • (5) Statements specifying a fee for professional service which does not include the cost of all related procedures, services, and products which to a substantial likelihood will be necessary for the completion of the advertised service as it would be understood by an ordinarily prudent person;
  • (6) Statements advertising discounted or free services, examinations, or treatments when there will be an additional charge for any additional services, examinations, or treatments which are performed as a result of and within 72 hours of the initial office visit in response to the advertisement unless the professional services rendered are a result of a bona fide emergency;
  • (7) Statements conveying the impression that the physician could improperly influence any public body, official, corporation, or any person on behalf of a patient;
  • (8) Statements containing representations or implications that in reasonable probability can be expected to cause an ordinary prudent person to misunderstand or be deceived;
  • (9) Statements containing representations that the physician is willing to perform any procedure which is illegal under the laws or regulations of Maryland or the United States;
  • (10) Statements that state or imply that the physician has received formal recognition as a specialist in any aspect of the practice of medicine unless:
    • (a) The physician has received this recognition by the following or their successors:
      • (i) The Board of Physician Quality Assurance before October 1, 1996,
      • (ii) The American Board of Medical Specialties, or
      • (iii) The American Osteopathic Association; or
    • (b) The physician is certified by a board that requires as a prerequisite of certification that the physician:
      • (i) Maintains certification from an appropriate member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties or The American Osteopathic Association,
      • (ii) Completes an accredited training program that includes identifiable training in the field of medicine that the physician is advertising as the physician’s specialty, and
      • (iii) Successfully completes a rigorous examination in the field of medicine the physician is advertising.

C. An advertisement may represent that a physician subspecializes in an area of medicine if the physician first identifies the physician’s specialty.

D. This regulation does not prevent a physician from accurately describing a focus of the physician’s practice in a field within the scope of the physician’s training and board certification.

E. A physician shall also be accountable under this regulation if he uses an agent, partnership, professional association, or health maintenance organization to implement actions prohibited by this regulation.

F. An advertisement may state a range of prices for specifically described services if reasonable disclosure of all relevant variables and consideration is made.

G. The Board shall keep a record of those physicians who have been:

  • (1) Identified by the Board of Physician Quality Assurance as specialists before October 1, 1996; or
  • (2) Certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties and the American Osteopathic Association.

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:

  • Misrepresenting facts.
  • Making statements that the Board of Physician Quality Assurance cannot evaluate for truthfulness.
  • Making statements likely to deceive because the statement is only a partial disclosure of relevant facts.
  • Making statements likely to or intended to create false or unjustified expectations of favorable results.
  • Advertising fees without including all related costs.
  • Advertising discounted or free services when additional services performed within 72 hours of the initial visit will require payment, unless the additional services are a result of a bona fide emergency.
  • Conveying the impression that you can improperly influence any official, corporation, or person on behalf of a patient.
  • Suggesting you are willing to perform any illegal procedures.
  • Stating or implying that you have received recognition as a specialist unless the recognition came from the Maryland Board of Physician Quality Assurance before October 1, 1996, the American Board of Medical Specialties, or The American Osteopathic Association, or a board requiring as a prerequisite membership in a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties or The American Osteopathic Association.
  • 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.

Is your website following best practices when it comes to medical marketing? Find out by downloading our free Website Compliance Checklist!

Download Free Checklist

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