The Show Me State wants physicians to show them that their medical marketing is above board – meaning that physicians must avoid false or misleading advertising. And not that it happens very often, but Missouri physicians also must not have a financial interest in any advertising agency that engages in prohibited types of advertising. Be sure to have your legal counsel review all of your medical marketing efforts to ensure you are in compliance.
Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts
Denial, revocation or suspension of license, alternatives, grounds for–reinstatement provisions. (…)
2. The board may cause a complaint to be filed with the administrative hearing commission as provided by chapter 621, RSMo, against any holder of any certificate of registration or authority, permit or license required by this chapter or any person who has failed to renew or has surrendered the person’s certificate of registration or authority, permit or license for any one or any combination of the following causes: (…)
(4) Misconduct, fraud, misrepresentation, dishonesty, unethical conduct or unprofessional conduct in the performance of the functions or duties of any profession licensed or regulated by this chapter, including, but not limited to, the following: (…)
(q) Advertising by an applicant or licensee which is false or misleading, or which violates any rule of the board, or which claims without substantiation the positive cure of any disease, or professional superiority to or greater skill than that possessed by any other physician. An applicant or licensee shall also be in violation of this provision if the applicant or licensee has a financial interest in any organization, corporation or association which issues or conducts such advertising.
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 false or misleading advertising.
- Advertising a guaranteed cure for any disease.
- Advertising professional superiority to or greater skill than any other physician.
- Having a financial interest in an organization, corporation, or association which conducts such advertising.
- 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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