Patricia M. Wagner, Chief Privacy Officer and Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences and Litigation practices, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Home Health Line, in “CAN-SPAM Act Violations Are Costly, So Agencies Must Meet FTC’s Expectations,” by Marla Durben Hirsch.

Following is an excerpt:

Providers that use email to market services and products to current and potential patients should expect more scrutiny. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced last year that it’s examining its rules that prohibit certain unsolicited email messaging, and the stakes are high. …

The CAN-SPAM Act is separate from but not unlike the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which covers communication by telephone, fax or text.

Both laws are intended to reduce nuisance communication, according to attorney Patricia Wagner with Epstein Becker Green in Washington, D.C. If you use both methods to market to patients, you need to comply with both laws.

“People are more tied to electronics, and the more junk you get, the harder it is to get the ones you really want to read,” Wagner says.

Under the CAN-SPAM Act, enacted in 2003, unsolicited commercial emails must meet certain criteria. For instance, the header information can’t be deceptive, the body of the message needs to be clear and the email must include a valid post office address. …

Finally, you should make sure that your spam filters are not set to block opt-out requests.

Remember to track requests to opt out of marketing communications and be able to identify which communications will be considered marketing as distinguished from those emails that are transactional in purpose, Wagner says.

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