Tennessee is extremely thorough in its regulation of healthcare advertising, presenting a unique challenge to medical website design and development firms like ours. These regulations address several aspects of Web advertising, including fees, content, and physician responsibility for maintaining records. Consult with your legal counsel to make sure that all of your marketing communications comply with all relevant laws.
Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners
Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0880-2-.13
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 a fixed fee for a service that does not include the cost of all professional recognized components within generally accepted standards that are required to complete the service.
- Advertising a range of fees for services without disclosing the factors used in determining the actual fee.
- Advertising a discount fee that is not lower than the licensee’s customary or usual fee, or that does not include the same quality and components of service and material as the regular, non-discounted fee.
- Claiming that the services performed, personnel employed, or materials or office equipment used are professionally superior to those of an average doctor, or to those of another doctor when such claims cannot be substantiated.
- Mentioning an unearned or non-health degree in a misleading way.
- Promoting professional services that you know or should know are beyond your ability to perform.
- Using techniques of communication which intimidate or exert undue pressure or undue influence over a prospective client.
- Making any appeals to an individual’s anxiety in an excessive or unfair manner.
- Using any personal testimonial attesting to a quality of competency of your services or treatments offered that is not reasonably verifiable.
- Using any statistical data or other information based on past performances for prediction of future services.
- Communicating personal identifiable facts, data, or information about a patient without first obtaining patient consent.
- Misrepresenting any material fact.
- Knowingly suppressing, omitting or concealing any material fact or law without which the advertisement would be deceptive or misleading.
- Making statements concerning the benefits or other attributes of medical procedures or products that involve significant risks without including a realistic assessment of the safety and efficiency of those procedures or products, the availability of alternatives, and where necessary to avoid deception, descriptions or assessment of the benefits or other attributes of those alternatives.
- Creating an unjustified expectation concerning the potential results of any treatment.
- Using “bait and switch” advertisements.
- Misrepresenting your credentials, training, experience, or ability.
- Failing to include the corporation, partnership, or your individual name, address, and telephone number in any advertisement.
- Failing to disclose the fact of giving compensation or anything of value to representatives of the press, radio, television or other communicative medium in anticipation of or in return for any advertisement unless the nature, format, or medium of such advertisement make the fact of compensation apparent.
- Stating or implying that you provides all advertised services when any services are performed by another doctor.
- Directly or indirectly offering, giving, receiving, or agreeing to receive any fee or other consideration to or from a third party for the referral of a patient in connection with the performance of professional services.
- Failing to retain a recording of every advertisement communicated by electronic media, a copy of every advertisement communicated by print media, and a copy of any other form of advertisement for a period of two (2) years from the last date of broadcast or publication.
- Making scientific claims that cannot be substantiated.
- Assuring a permanent 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.
- Saying you are board-certified without including in any advertising the name of the board that has certified you.
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