Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act rules apply to text messaging, residential phone lines, and wireless lines. They are designed to protect consumers from telemarketing messages. Treatment plan notifications, appointment confirmations and other types of messaging sent on your behalf via RevenueWell are deemed by the FCC to be “health care messaging,” making them exempt from the 2013 modification to the Act (known as the “new rules.”). 
In exempting this type of messaging, the FCC has stated there is efficient and thorough oversight in HIPAA so as to “already safeguard consumer privacy.” And, that it did not “need to subject these calls to its consent, identification, opt-out, and abandoned call rules” (77 FR 34240).
In July of 2015, however, the FCC issued a series of “declaratory rulings” to close perceived loopholes in the law – one such measure being consent. In its “Empowering Consumers to Say Stop” clause, the FCC ruled consumers should “have the right to revoke their consent to receive robocalls and robotexts in any reasonable way at any time,” and that this ability should apply “to wireless, and landline home service.” 
To facilitate this clarification in the law, all standard text message templates within RevenueWell now include opt-out capability. This way, recipients can provide or revoke consent at any time with every message sent. These templates also include your practice name and phone number – providing an additional layer of compliance security. 
Please keep in mind that it is your responsibility to adhere to the rules established by the TCPA. Crucially, this includes keeping text message content consistent with TCPA’s definition of “healthcare messaging.” This means your text messages should be used to communicate with patients around coordination and delivery of care, and not about patients’ balances, your office policies, or your marketing promotions. Although it is possible to communicate with patients about these matters via text, you need special consent from patients to send such text messages since they aren’t “healthcare messages.” While RevenueWell has provided numerous safeguards within the system to aid you in staying compliant, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure all the content you create and send through the platform is compliant with the TCPA rules. 
For questions about these regulations, always confer with your attorney. The information contained herein should not be construed as legal advice.