Recent Board Policy Clarification regarding coupon and discount advertising & promotions.
In July 2012, the Board modified its previous advertising and discount policy and clarified guidelines regarding using promotional discounts and coupons. Under the modified policy, licensees MAY OFFER ADVERTISED COUPONS AND/OR DISCOUNTS to patients under the following guidelines:
- The terms of the discount clearly reflect what is discounted or free and patients must fully understand all terms. Terms may not be misleading, fraudulent or confusing;
- Discounts may be made to specific groups such as: police, firemen, teachers, first responders, etc.
- Any discounts may not discriminate on the bases of: gender race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or age.
- Discounts issued to insurance patients are authorized provided that the insurer is billed for the same amount billed to the patient. In other words, the insurer invoice must reflect the discount.
- It is permissible to use coupon services such as Groupon, Social Networks, etc. Advertisements must comply with existing Board regulations and any applicable state or federal regulations.
- To avoid complaints, licensees should consider giving patients a printed explanation detailing all specific terms of any discount or free promotion.