HIPAA and TCPA Intersection: Navigating Healthcare Call Exemption, Landline/Cell Phone Distinction, Scope of Consent

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, November 5, 2015

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will examine the intersection of HIPAA and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and provide guidance to healthcare counsel for understanding the risks and overcoming the compliance challenges facing the healthcare industry. The panel will discuss healthcare-related messages and what is and is not defined as marketing under HIPAA.


The TCPA protects consumers from unwanted calls and text messages to their cell phones or other mobile devices and from pre-recorded messages to their landlines. The TCPA has two exceptions for healthcare messages made by HIPAA-covered entities and business associates, but there is no guidance on what constitutes a healthcare message.

The line between marketing and non-marketing communications remains unclear. This is especially true in situations such as healthcare providers giving patients recommendations regarding services and products. Many marketing calls require authorization that meets HIPAA requirements even if they fall under the TCPA exemption for healthcare messages.

Counsel to healthcare providers and business associates must ensure marketing practices comply with HIPAA and TCPA requirements to minimize the risk of penalties and lawsuits.

Listen as our authoritative panel of healthcare attorneys discusses the TCPA, the type of messages covered under the TCPA exemption, and related consent issues. The panel will examine the HIPAA-TCPA intersection, discussing healthcare-related messages and HIPAA’s definition of marketing. The panel will provide guidance for understanding the risks and overcoming the compliance challenges facing the healthcare industry when making automated or pre-recorded calls, sending appointment and refill reminders, and more.



  1. TCPA
    1. Type of messages covered under the TCPA exemption
    2. Consent issues
  2. HIPAA-TCPA intersection
    1. Healthcare-related messages
    2. Marketing as defined under HIPAA
    3. Terminology—what challenges are created by the statutes’ terminology?
  3. Best practices
    1. Understanding the risks
    2. Overcoming the compliance challenges


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What healthcare-related messages fall under the TCPA? What are the limitations of the exemption?
  • What measures should healthcare providers and business associates adopt to ensure their consent practices comply with both HIPAA and the TCPA?
  • How should counsel manage the ambiguities of the rules?


Douglas G. Bonner
Douglas G. Bonner

Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice

Mr. Bonner's specific areas of practice include telecommunications and mass media; communications litigation; and...  |  Read More

Rebecca E. Jacobs
Rebecca E. Jacobs

Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice

Ms. Jacobs has a comprehensive communications law practice, guiding clients in media law, Internet, telecom, cable...  |  Read More

Mary Ellen Kleiman
Mary Ellen Kleiman
VP, Legal Affairs and Associate General Counsel
National Association of Chain Drug Stores

Ms. Kleiman works on a wide variety of regulatory issues on behalf of National Association of Chain Drug Stores'...  |  Read More

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