Tag Archives: hipaa

stimulated HIPAA marketing

A few years ago, I helped write a book about healthcare marketing and HIPAA. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had a major uptick in the number of media inquiries and emails from healthcare marketers who want my take on the HIPAA changes in the ARRA bill. I thought the interest would die off as time went by, but people still seem interested so I figured it would be good to go ahead and post what I’ve been telling people.

There were lots of changes to HIPAA in the ARRA (a.k.a. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a.k.a. Stimulus Bill, a.k.a Porkulus Bill, etc), but there are two big changes when it comes to marketing and HIPAA:

1) It fundamentally changes the world for Business Associates
If you’re not a student of the exciting world of HIPAA, a Business Associate (BA) is any third-party person or organization that performs work that involves use or disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI) on behalf of a healthcare Covered Entity (CE). Previously, Business Associates just had to sign a Privacy Agreement with the CE. With the new legislation, a Business Associate now has to set up the same safeguards and protect PHI the same way a CE would.

What does that mean? Basically, I think it means we’ll see lots of direct mail vendors, telemarketing companies, and other marketing support companies dump their healthcare clients because they don’t want to deal with the bureaucracy. While at the same time, I think we’ll see a new breed of these marketing support companies that will accept the added government imposed hassle for a higher fee. And that fee will be passed through the healthcare organization to me and you.

2) Definitions of “what is marketing” under HIPAA
This is the biggest change. ARRA further limits how CEs can use PHI for marketing without the individual’s authorization. ARRA limits the right to use information for marketing if the communication is paid for by an outside entity. It provides exceptions for treatment and communications about pharmaceuticals. And it mandates more options of an opt-out for fundraising communications.

What does that mean? It means healthcare organizations need to closely examine all of their marketing communications that are using PHI. Err on the safe side as the ARRA also increased fines.

The Big Picture
Are you familiar with Duck and Cover? I think that’s the stance that healthcare marketers need to take in 2009. As the Obama administration starts to tinker with the fundamentals of the present healthcare system — all bets are off for everything healthcare related (especially HIPAA) until we get an idea of what their final picture will look like. Either by a little or by a lot, the healthcare industry will change over the next 18-24 months. There’s no need to develop healthcare marketing plans for a worldview that may not exist in a few months.

Please remember that I am a marketing guy — not a HIPAA consultant or legal advisor. Please consult your HIPAA legal counsel and PO for the most up-to-date info.

The year of HIPAA

This has been the “year of HIPAA” for me. Earlier this year, along with Kate Borten, I worked on both the Marketing under HIPAA webinar and book.

Recently, I was asked to write an article for the November issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

The article came out a few days ago and you can find it online here – http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/viewfeature/84310.html



One of my marketing areas of concentration is healthcare marketing. I have several healthcare clients and several of my keynotes are focused on healthcare markeitng. One of the big things that healthcare marketers are in the dark about right now is how to market under HIPAA, the federal privacy law that went into effect back in 2003.

Last spring, a national healthcare publisher hired me to co-author a book about the challenges and opportunities presented to healthcare marketers under the federal HIPAA regulations. And now, after months of work, my co-author, Kate Borten, and I are proud to announce the publication of: (drumroll)Healthcare marketing Hipaa book

A Marketer’s Guide to HIPAA
Resources for Creating Effective and Compliant Marketing

This book is a great resource for healthcare marketers and should be a part of the toolkit of all healthcare practices. Kate and I give a basic breakdown of the parts of the Privacy and Security Rule that are pertinent to healthcare marketers. We attempted to write the book in practical, easy-to-understand language and included lots of “real world” scenarios. We offer a breakdown of what HIPAA permits, and the conditions it imposes for using patient information in marketing initiatives. Overall, the book explains the parts of HIPAA a healthcare marketer needs to be aware of, and gives concrete examples of effective marketing practices that use valuable patient data, but that steer clear of HIPAA violations.

Obviously, I contributed most of the healthcare marketing content. As to the legal HIPAA side of the equation, my co-author, Kate Borten, is a nationally recognized expert and frequent speaker on the topics of HIPAA and health information privacy and security. During the writing of the book, I was continually impressed with the depth of Kate’s knowledge of HIPAA. I think you’ll be equally impressed.

To order the book, you can visit http://www.hcmarketplace.com/prod-4514.html

***ALSO*** I know that some of you participated in the “Marketing under HIPAA: Patient data and the law” webinar that Kate and I presented in August. This book is a great companion to that webcast. It gets much deeper into the material than we were able to with the seminar.

I have also added a version of the HIPAA webinar to my speaking topics. It’s a good addition to the other healthcare topics that I can present to your conference or meeting.


Marketing under HIPAA

If you’re even close to the healthcare industry, you’ve at least heard about the 800-lb gorilla that is called HIPAA. In some cases, some healthcare practitioners have been leery of database marketing in fear of violating HIPAA.

Fear not. Just sign up for a great webcast presented by Health Leaders Media called Marketing under HIPAA: Patient data and the law. Learn how to use patient data in healthcare marketing without violating HIPAA privacy laws. Join us on August 9, 2006 for this 90-minute interactive program. Kate Borten and I will equip you with the essential facts on how HIPAA and patient privacy impacts your healthcare organization’s marketing efforts.

Of course, my portion of the webinar will be about the healthcare marketing side. But, one of the real reasons to sign up for the webcast is my co-presenter, Kate Borten. I’ve been in the healthcare marketing arena for a long time….and after working with Kate, I’m convinced she knows more about HIPAA than anyone I’ve ever met.

Click here for more information about the webinar and to register. I think you’ll get alot out of it.