At TruBridge Dental, we love getting patient feedback. You’ve told us how easy and stress-fee your overall TruBridge experience has been and how TruBridge has been a transformative influence in your life.
Patients who have had the TruBridge Restoration procedure on Bainbridge Island at our Fairy Tale Dental offices have been positively unanimous in their acclaim. We have received 45 Five-Star Google Reviews ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️, and a rating of 4.9!
That has not alway been the case for some dentists.
The American Dental Association (ADA for short) is asking the Federal Trade Commission to help protect dental practices from dishonest or misleading reviews on social media sites.
In a letter to the federal agency regarding its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on deceptive or unfair uses of reviews and endorsements, the ADA wrote:
“We are particularly concerned about reviews by people who are not actually patients of the dental practice, or who are misrepresenting their experiences with the dental office.”
A common problem that dental offices face with deceptive or unfair reviews is that, unlike businesses that can respond specifically to negative reviews, dentists, as health care providers, may be constrained by federal and state privacy laws from disclosing patient information even if the review is deceptive or misleading and even if the reviewer discloses their patient information in the review.
A recent survey by the ADA Health Policy Institute that found that while 88% of surveyed dentists reported ever receiving patient reviews online, 39% said they were unable to respond due to HIPAA regulations.
“Dishonest negative reviews are unfair to the dental practice,” states the ADA. It can also be very upsetting to the dentist to see incorrect information about their hard work posted online for anyone to find.”
The ADA is urging the FTC to create an exception to enforcement and regulations under the FTC Act “that would permit health care providers, including dentists, to disclose patient information in response to a review without violating the prohibition against unreasonable and deceptive trade practices, provided the disclosure is limited to the scope of the topics addressed in the review.”
“This would help dental practices respond to reviews to the extent permitted by other federal and state law,” the ADA letter said.
The ADA is also urging the FTC to include in its rulemaking a requirement that the reviewer self-identify, as well as a requirement for the social media site to verify that identity because this could help the dentist to determine if the review is fraudulent. In the case of a legitimate review, it would also assist the dentist in responding to and addressing the patient’s concerns by reaching out to the patient either on social media or directly, as appropriate.
“These regulatory provisions would protect the dental practice from misleading and deceptive reviews, ensure fair competition between dental practices, help consumers to choose the right dental practice for them, and assist dentists in addressing the questions and concerns of their patients,” the ADA letter concluded.
In the truth, you can trust!