TCPA places legal limits on telehealth texting

If you own a health care practice in Minnesota, you may have heard about a new ruling by the TCPA. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act has been designed to minimize the number of unwanted spam calls that reach phone users on a day-to-day basis. This Act will have an effect on the way a practice sends its texts.

Understanding the health care message exception

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act will apply in force to all manner of business with a very few exceptions. One of these is for health care messages. Your practice is legally permitted to send prerecorded voice and text messages to cell phones without a patient’s prior consent. This is for the purpose of conveying important health care information.

You need to keep in mind that there are restrictions in place. The patients that you send these messages to cannot be charged, either for the call or the text itself. No more than three texts can be sent per week. The content of the message must be medical in nature and contain no advertising of any kind.

The privacy of patients must be honored

Every text message or call that you send out to a patient must be carefully screened in advance. This should be done in order to ensure that all of your messaging is in compliance with HIPAA. This is a body that sets very strict requirements to preserve the privacy and security of the people you call.

Any request that you receive from a patient to opt-out of receiving calls or texts from your practice must be immediately granted. It’s a good idea for you to stay up to speed with the latest rules and regulations. This is because they are subject to change with little warning.