Why Patient Testimonial Can Cost You!

privacylawsgeneric (2)Whose better to say that you are great treatment provider then your patients?  Patient testimonial can be invaluable advertising and promotion material.  She thinks he is great, he must be great.  She helped her, she will help me.  That is the mentality-crowd mentality, peer pressure.  Whatever you call it.  It works.

We see testimonial on brochures, FaceBook post, LinkedIn recommendation, Yelp review.  They are everywhere.


But, this case will make you stop and think!


Complete P.T.


Complete P.T. Pool & Land Physical Therapy ended up paying a 25,000 dollar fine for posting patient testimonials without patient consent.  Yes!  25,000 dollars for posting testimonial.  And Yes, using patient testimonial requires a patient authorization.

When you post a patient testimonial, you may be posting their name, photo, and information about their treatment.  Patient names, photos and patient information is protect information under HIPAA.  If you post this information, you are disclosing this information to the public.  A patient authorization is required.

Question: What about if patients posts a testimonial on your website, FaceBook page, or completes a Yelp review.  Do you still need a patient authorization?

Answer:  No, you do not need an authorization.  You are not making the disclosure; the patient is making the disclosure; therefore not patient authorization is required.


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