HIPAA And Online Marketing: A Case Study

Decent Essays
An ethical concern in health care is the fear of medical professionals violating HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) by using online sources such as email and Web marketing. According to Gary and Christiansen (2009), “The healthcare industry appears to be avoiding the use of email and Web marketing as a result of concerns regarding HIPAA restrictions and warnings from insurers not to engage in electronic communication with consumers.” Many medical professionals are reluctant to use online marketing because they are afraid of receiving a fine from the law. Unfortunately, these businesses are unaware that when used correctly, online marketing is an effective way to attract the consumer. “Offering these customer-oriented services can be a strategic use of the Internet for marketing to current patients, attracting new patients, and reducing costs” (Gary and Christiansen, 2009). From experience, patients love being able to talk to their doctor whenever they have a question or concern. It is easily and assessable for the patient to be able to access their phones or computers and communicate with their…show more content…
In other words, if a healthcare professional wants to communicate with their patients through the Web without breaking the law, they will have to consider permission-based marketing. According to Gary and Christiansen (2009), “Organizations should take extra precaution when using online strategies by using only an 'opt in' approach, otherwise known as permission-based marketing.” Therefore, it is not only ethical, but also important to embrace this strategy for online marketing strategies. From a legal and ethical perspective, as long as medical practices do not sell or rent a patient's personal information to a third party, they can use email to market to new and existing services to patients without breaking the law or ethical guidelines set forth by the
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