In Lisa’s post about legacy marketing, she extols the virtues of doing things well and I couldn’t agree more especially when considering the legal realities associated with industry codes–AdvaMed, PhRMA, CMSS, et. Al. If those acronyms are alphabet soup to you then please take the time to read up and come back, I’ll wait.
Bottom line (and one of my truth’s):
Health care providers must own their reputations and practice marketing.
What that means to companies is that they can supply to all QUALIFIED CUSTOMERS with a DIY Marketing Tool Kit.
The company determines exactly how a customer qualifies as long as those rules are applied consistently across the customer base. Here are some qualifications:
- Complete product training program
- Perform a minimum number of cases to demonstrate competency
- Perform procedures in a specific site of service
- Have admission privileges to at least one hospital facility
- Have an active medical/DEA license
- Agree to make specific dollar contributions to a turnkey marketing program with a third party vendor.
If your management team wants you to just dole out money for customer’s marketing activities without a formal program, push back. Regulators can see the brightly lit money trail a mile away. Here’s an example:
[Newly added 10/10/11]
Here’s a Press Release from Office of the Inspector General about a military cardiologist getting sentencing because of benefits received from a variety of activities including dinners with sales reps.
Here’s a story from the AP on Massachusetts reporting of payments to physicians. “The report was the result of a 2008 state law that banned some types of gifts outright and required companies to report other types of payments.”
Note how the state has categorized the payments to physicians:
“That’s according to a new report from the state Department of Public Health, which said the payments included speaking and consulting fees, meals, and education and marketing programs.”
Doing it right is more than a compliance issue–it’s a mindset. People value what they pay for and they are more engaged in success when they have skin in the game. Everybody wins when customer marketing programs are both compelling and compliant.
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