What’s new in healthcare marketing?  A greater focus on the law.

The evolution of healthcare marketing has resulted in greater legal obligations for the industry.  Today, more healthcare marketers are advertising directly to consumers.  Where traditional healthcare marketing was provider-centric, the modern approach emphasizes patient experience.  This model brings with it a multitude of new legal issues for the industry.

HIPAA Marketing rules.  HIPAA marketing rules require that patient health information (PHI) is adequately protected and not exploited for commercial purposes.  The rule generally requires covered entities to obtain permission to use PHI for marketing purposes, subject to certain exceptions.

Digital marketing trends.  According to a recent report article by Phase 2, digital health marketing efforts will continue to expand in 2018 and beyond.  The implementation of digital marketing campaigns require knowledge of various laws, including HIPAA privacy, social media, CAN-SPAM, and FTC regulations.  Digital health, the use of patient testimonials, and issues related to claims substantiation and HIPAA marketing bring with them unique challenges and risks.

Hospital rebranding.  Rebranding a hospital to a unified healthcare brand requires proper trademark search, clearance, and registration. Trademark clearance and registration of the unified brand is only the first step of the process.  Proper brand clearance planning and consideration must also be applied to slogans, sub-brands, and associated brand usage policies.

Social Media marketing.  Hospital advertising and promotional efforts have gone beyond quantitative performance metrics.  The rise of patient community websites and social media networks require greater scrutiny that health marketing and advertising claims are substantiated and patient privacy secured.

Healthcare brands are learning more about the importance of implementing brand and marketing compliance programs.   With greater competition comes the urge to explore new and bolder ways to market healthcare solutions.  The result is greater risk to the organization.   Your legal team should always be invited to be a key stakeholder in the marketing and promotions process.