Concerns with Responding to a Bad Online Review

Although your initial reaction to a bad online review may be to refute it, proceed with caution to avoid a HIPAA violation.

Risk Management

Concerns with Responding to a Bad Online Review

According to a recent article, some healthcare providers are "casting their patients' privacy aside and sharing intimate details online as they try to rebut criticism" on rating sites like Yelp.

The article in the Washington Post shares numerous examples, including Doctors of Chiropractic, who are using specific details about the treatment they have provided in an effort to set the record straight. However, in doing so, they appear to be violating patient privacy and HIPAA law. 

It's important to remember we now live in a world where our work is up for public review. Although your initial reaction to a bad review is to refute it in the forum in which it was originally aired, doctors must proceed with caution. Remember, the onus of HIPAA compliance and protection of patients’ privacy is on you as the doctor--not on the patient.

The article shares the various ways healthcare providers have tried to combat these reviews and also provides suggestions for doctors who find themselves in this quandry. It's a good read for today's doctor as it is likely that many D.C.s are going to find themselves subject to a negative online review sooner or later in their careers.  

The information in the NCMIC Learning Center is offered solely for general information and educational purposes. It is not offered as, nor does it represent, legal or professional advice. Neither does this information constitute a guideline, practice parameter or standard of care. You should not act or rely upon this information without seeking the advice of an attorney familiar with the specific legal requirements of the state(s) in which you practice. If there is a discrepancy between the site and an insurance policy you have with NCMIC, the policy will prevail.