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DMA Releases How To Market Under Revised Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act (HIPAA); Industry Education Initiative to Ensure All Health Care Marketers 'Do the Right Thing'; Seminar Will Be Available
NEW YORK, January 28, 2003 – The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) today released a Corporate Responsibility Fact Sheet that tells marketers, who may be considered business associates of health care providers, what kind of marketing communications are allowable under the revised Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The fact sheet is entitled "What Direct Marketers Should Know About The Privacy Provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act."
In August 2002, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services revised the December 2000 rule that implements the privacy provisions of the 1996 HIPAA law. Most covered entities have until April 14, 2003, to comply.
Under the rule, new requirements will be placed on health care providers and their business associates. Business associates is defined to include direct marketers and third-party marketers (such as service bureaus and software and database vendors and suppliers), pharmaceutical manufacturers and medical equipment suppliers that perform functions or services for the covered entity that involve the use of protected health information.
Among the new requirements is that, with limited exceptions, these entities must receive written, explicit authorization from an individual to use or disclose protected health information for marketing.
"The DMA compiled the fact sheet to guide our members through what is an extremely complex set of rules," said Patricia Faley, vice president, ethics & consumer affairs, The DMA. "This fact sheet translates the 750-page new rules into plain English so that our members can immediately know if they are covered by the new rules and how they can prepare themselves, their customers and patients and consumers with whom they may interact."
"Most importantly, the fact sheet provides information to marketers about who is required to comply with HIPAA," said Faley. "Part of the reason we are issuing a fact sheet is to alert those marketers who may not realize that their business models might run afoul of the new law."
The fact sheet provides real-life examples and answers common questions about how to comply with HIPAA. For example:
The fact sheet can be viewed online at http://www.the-dma.org/library/privacy/hipaafaqs.shtml
The DMA is the leading trade association for businesses interested in interactive and database marketing, with nearly 4,700 member companies from the United States and 53 other nations. Founded in 1917, its members include direct marketers from every business segment as well as the nonprofit and electronic marketing sectors. Included are catalogers, Internet retailers and service providers, financial services providers, book and magazine publishers, book and music clubs, retail stores, industrial manufacturers and a host of other vertical segments, including the service industries that support them. According to a DMA-commissioned study, direct and interactive marketing sales in the United States is projected to surpass $2 trillion in 2002, including $126 billion in catalog sales and $34 billion in sales generated by the Internet. The DMA's Web site is www.the-dma.org, and its consumer Web site is www.shopthenet.org.