Keeping up with the never-ending search engine algorithm changes, evolving privacy regulations, and new technologies can make any marketer’s head spin faster than a couple double quarantinis. For healthcare marketers, the compliance and privacy regulatory landscape can induce more than headaches — not following the rules can result in big fines and a loss of customer trust.
Healthcare and health insurance marketers will frequently see their customers call at some point in the patient journey. So not only do they have to make sure their digital marketing is compliant with regulatory requirements if they’re tracking calls generated by marketing campaigns, they also have to make sure that any call tracking or conversation intelligence platform they’re using is collecting and sharing data in a manner that’s compliant with privacy laws like HIPAA.
Here’s how healthcare marketers can drive more revenue, improve the patient experience, and run HIPAA-compliant marketing campaigns while using AI-powered conversation intelligence.
Data Privacy Regulations that Impact Healthcare Marketers
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA was instituted to provide data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding the medical information of individuals. Specifically, it regulates the use and transfer of medical information in four areas that can impact healthcare marketing:
- Privacy and patient confidentiality
- Security, including the protection of information, including physical, technological, and administrative safeguards
- Identifiers, including the types of information that cannot be released if collected for research purposes
- Codes for electronic transmission of data in healthcare-related transactions, including eligibility and insurance claims and payments
The HIPAA Privacy Rule gives individuals important controls over whether and how their protected health information is used and disclosed for marketing purposes. With limited exceptions, the Rule requires an individual’s written authorization before a use or disclosure of his or her protected health information can be made for marketing.
It also requires that healthcare companies and their business associates (e.g., vendors, agencies, technology providers, etc.) enter into contracts known as Business Associate Agreements (BAAs) to ensure that those business associates will adequately safeguard protected health information (PHI).
There is no formal certification process for HIPAA and it relies mainly on self-attestation that a company is HIPAA compliant. The BAAs are put in place to give some legal teeth to liability and accountability that the requirements of the standard will be upheld by all parties involved.
While HIPAA is the most obvious regulation that affects healthcare marketing, GDPR and CCPA compliance may come into play, too.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
When GDPR went into effect in 2018, many US-based companies assumed that they were exempt from the regulations if they did not do business in the EU. Many assumed incorrectly, as the regulation covers any data gathered on an EU resident anywhere in the world. That includes an EU citizen who visits a small practice for care while in the U.S.
In most cases, though, GDPR can be seen as an extension of the same protections and requirements of HIPAA for U.S.-based healthcare and health insurance marketers. GDPR expands on the idea by regulating the whole life cycle of personal and sensitive information, similar to the protection that HIPAA offers for personal health information (PHI). This includes how information is collected, processed, stored, and eventually destroyed.
California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
CCPA is new state legislation that will provide additional data privacy rights and consumer protections for residents of California. Now, don’t leave the room because your business is not based in California—CCPA, much like GDPR in the EU—applies to any company that conducts business in or on behalf of anyone in California. Since California makes up 12% of the national population and 17% of its net worth, that likely means you.
CCPA gives California consumers the right to:
- Know what personal data is being collected about them
- Opt-out of having their data sold to a third party or being used by the company they transacted with
- Have access to the data that has been collected on them
- Have any data collected be deleted from a business’s systems
- Not be discriminated against by the company for exercising any of the above rights
When it comes to healthcare marketers, though, healthcare organizations in the US that are already compliant with HIPAA are exempt from the important “right to forget” clauses in the CCPA. However, that’s only applicable to protected health information (PHI). So, if there’s any other non-PHI information on a consumer that is personally identifiable, like a billing record, call record, or even browser cookies or user-level ad IDs that information has to be “forgotten.”
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
If you take payments over the phone, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) may apply to your organization, and your call tracking platform, as well. While call tracking providers do not directly handle payment processing, PCI DSS compliance may be required for call tracking users who process payments over the phone. This is because some call analytics features will record and/or transcribe calls and therefore potentially record sensitive customer data. Invoca has gone through the formal audit and is certified in the PCI DSS standards with all call analytics features — including Signal AI conversation analytics — enabled.
Why Your Call Tracking Software Must be Compliant
If you’re using call tracking software to get attribution for conversions that happen on the phone or in the contact center, you could run afoul of data privacy and security compliance measures. This is because any of your calls that are routed through the platform may be recorded, transcribed, or in many cases, both. Transcription and recording enables the speech analytics algorithm to analyze the call and detect conversation outcomes (e.g., appointment set), spot trends, and analyze customer interactions in the contact center that can help you coach agents.
Software Compliance Features Healthcare Marketers Need to Look For
While most call tracking and conversation intelligence platforms are HIPAA compliant, some achieve that with some caveats. Namely, they require that you turn off features like phrase spotting, call recording, and AI-powered speech analytics, which enable you to automatically analyze and classify calls.
Invoca’s conversation intelligence platform provides HIPAA, GDPR, and CCPA compliance without the compromises. Invoca can record and transcribe inbound calls in a secure and privacy-friendly way to enable marketers to uncover new sources of customer data and insight. With improved visibility into these important customer interactions, healthcare marketers can drive cost savings from their media spend, and deliver improved customer experiences.
Another reason that it’s important that your conversation intelligence platform is HIPAA compliant with all speech analytics features enabled, is that it can actually be used to ensure compliance in your contact centers. By creating signals that can automatically detect non-compliant conversations with patients, such as contact center agents giving out medical advice, you can coach agents to respond to inquiries appropriately.
One of the ways Invoca is able to meet compliance standards while providing call recordings, transcription, and full conversation analytics functionality is with automated redaction of sensitive caller information. Redaction happens automatically through a process of scanning and analyzing each inbound call recording, and identifying and removing any instances where sensitive information is spoken. To ensure optimum security, call information is only exposed after applicable PCI sensitive information has been redacted from the call recording and transcript. Redaction includes credit card number, credit card expiration date, credit card security code, Social Security number, and date of birth.
From Prospect to Patient: How Healthcare Marketers Use Conversation Intelligence
Healthcare marketers can use conversation intelligence and call tracking software to get full visibility into the journey from prospect to patient. With insights from conversations that are occurring in the contact center, you can optimize their marketing campaigns and messaging and optimize the customer experience both online and offline. Here are some of the results healthcare marketers have achieved with Invoca conversation intelligence: