Healthcare Marketing Best Practice and the FCC’s New Telemarketing Rules 2012

In February, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave the go-ahead to implement new rules governing the activities of telemarketing companies. These apply to telemarketers who rely on auto-dialers and pre-coded messages when contacting prospects or customers. Although companies that employ real human telemarketers do the prospecting work, it’s quite helpful to look at these rule changes as the best practices guide for your healthcare telemarketing campaign.

According to a news article from, these new regulations are meant to extend the limits imposed by existing Federal Trade Commission policies on “robocalls” and “dead air” calls. Robocalls are automated and “interactive” telemarketing calls where dialing and messaging are done by a computer. Dead air calls occur when recipients encounter nobody at the other end after picking up the phone. If your healthcare lead generation process makes use of any of these, then you better pay close attention.

Telemarketers will have to get written permission from their contacts before dialing their phone numbers through robocalls. In the past, businesses with an established relationship with their contacts were allowed to place robocalls without permission from recipients. Health insurance customers, for instance, could be contacted through auto-dialers by a provider trying to promote new offers. Under the new rules, this practice of generating healthcare leads is not allowed unless written permission has been obtained.

The new rules cover other aspects of robocalling as well as dead air calls. Telemarketers using robocalls are now also required to provide interactive “opt-out” choices to their contacts. This enables such recipients to easily discontinue any future automated calls. Dead air calls are a result of a delayed response time because of too many calls placed by an auto-dialer at one time. The new FCC regulations aim to limit the number of these type of calls.

As you can see, the excesses that the FCC is trying to curb with their new policies can easily be avoided by a telemarketing company who really places its prospects and customers at the core of their campaign. This is why more qualified healthcare leads are generated by a company who avoids these bad practices with or without these rules.

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