Getting Naked on the Internet: What does the law say?


Telemedicine and Cyber Security

The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of your personal health information (PHI). HIPAA includes several rules and provisions that set guidelines and requirements for the administration and enforcement of HIPAA. The relevant ones for the exchange of PHI in the digital cyberspace are the Privacy Rule1, the Security Rule2, and the aptly named Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act3.

Telemedicine is a burgeoning field of medicine that incorporates digital technology such as electronic health records (EHR), information sharing, and videoconferencing to enhance the interaction between physicians and their patients, and ultimately, improve the delivery of healthcare. Having been a plastic surgeon for several years now, I’m all too familiar with meeting people at social events, and immediately getting bombarded with intrusive and unusual questions and requests as soon as my chosen profession is ousted. Sure, it’s unlikely that a woman will disrobe and expose herself in front of me and my wife at a friend’s dinner party, but get us into an online “private” videoconference call, and who knows what body parts will make an abrupt entrance into the conversation. Physicians must approach with caution, says American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) President Stephen S. Park, M.D. in a recent article4. But, for me and most physicians I know, I feel like the cat is already out of the bag. Considering the amount of texts, emails, online chats, phone conversations over internet and satellite lines, and selfies of both pre- and post-op patients I’ve been privy to, I’m sure I’ve already broken too many laws, and completely disregarded the good doctor’s advice. The truth is, though, that we’ve only begun to scratch the surface.

Telemedicine may involve the electronic exchange of PHI which is protected under HIPAA law. Security considerations with telemedicine involve making sure unauthorized third parties cannot eavesdrop on or record a videoconferencing session where sensitive PHI is transmitted seamlessly, and unfortunately, innocently. Recently, a monumental data breach at one of the nation’s largest insurance providers has spurred a bipartisan political effort to reexamine HIPAA as it relates to telemedicine, possibly adding costly and cumbersome requirements to encrypt EHR data5. Additionally, a recent report done by BitSight Technologies, a cyber security risk analysis and management firm, found that healthcare and pharmaceutical companies ranked the lowest among the four industry categories studied6. Suffice it to say, people are taking heed of this emerging new threat.

The aforementioned laws, rules, and regulations guide the generation, maintenance, and implementation of telemedicine HIPAA compliance. We must be cautioned, though, that HIPAA compliance does not necessarily equate to actual cyber security, and that simply meeting standards set forth in these regulations may not be enough. As more public attention and scrutiny rise to the forefront of media exposure, look for the healthcare industry to take the cyber security threat much more seriously.

Daniel Kaufman, MD
Discreet Plastic Surgery


The Very Best Bang-For-Your-Buck Cosmetic Marketing: Waiting Room Video

medical spa waiting room videosVideo marketing to patients in your waiting room the single most effective way to educate your patients about your entire offering and drive more sales.

Waiting room video marketing educates and informs patients that are already inside of your clinic about all of your treatments in a way that generates interest and sales without pushy hard sales tactics. In fact, its the best ROI marketing I know of since it's usually a one-time flat fee to get set up and running.

If you're not already using video in your waiting room you're missing the easiest and most effective way to increase every business metric you should care about; patient satisfaction, referrals, and revenue. Educational marketing in to your existing patient base has been proven time and again to be one of the very best ways to increase referrals (new patient traffic) and create additional and add-on sales (revenue per patient).

Take a look at this demo video from Frontdesk (one of our Select Partners) that demonstrates how waiting room video marketing works and imagine just how effective it could be for your clinic. 

View more Frontdesk waiting room videos for cosmetic clinics

There are all kinds of industrys that are already using video marketing in their waiting areas since they've been proven across all verticals to increase sales and customer satisfaction with wait times. Videos are being used in waiting areas to sell home equitly loans in banks, run real estate tours for brokers, upsell wiper blades at tire and oil change shops and educate patients about porcelain veneers in dentist offices. In fact, waiting room video marketing is so effective AutonetTV launched an entire TV channel just to broadcast into automotive center waiting rooms. So where are you?

In the most recent Medical Spa MD Physician Report, physicians running cosmetic clinics were asked what kind of marketing is most important in generating sales and if they're already marketing to patients in their waiting room. Here's what they told us.

What do you consider to be most important to generate revenue/sales for your practice?

waiting room video marketing

How are you currently marketing in your waiting room?

waiting room video marketing effectiveness

(To be honest I think the the numbers here are a little off and that both of these questions should have and even more direct link to internal patient marketing and waiting room marketing.)

What's really interesting about this is that patients that are sitting in your waiting room are actually looking to be sold to, but you're probably doing a pretty poor job communicating to this captive audience. Most clinics have some brochures that are provided by technology providers or injectable reps, and you might have a flyer or two, but video marketing moves your marketing to an entirely new level. Look at that second chart; 25% of responding physicians indicated that they're using video marketing in their waiting room and that they're 'killing it'.

(Note: I don't believe that 25% of all cosmetic clinics are already using waiting room videos. I think that our responding physicians are skewed towards a much more proactive and business savvy group than the average and that accounts for the seeminly high percentage.)

Effective waiting room video marketing does 3 critical things immediately:

  • Reduces perceived wait times for patients. (Increased patient satisfaction)
  • Educates patients about additional treatments, services, or offers. (Increased referrals)
  • Generates questsions about other treatmens and services. (Increased revenue per patient)

Reduce perceived wait time for your patients.

Have you ever actually had to sit in a waiting room with nothing to do but contemplate your navel? (If you're a physician you probably haven't had to sit in another doctors waiting room but imagine yourself at the DMV.)

Putting a great video in your waiting room gives your patients something to watch and minimizes the perceived wait, making for happier patients even before they get into the consultation or treatment room.

Educate your patients while they wait.

All of your patients are stuck in your waiting room for at least a little while if only to fill out paperwork. You're missing an opportunity if you're not educating them about all of your services and treatments while they're at their most receptive. 

Patients who know what your entire offering is are more likely to ask questions about additional treatments and think of friends and family that might benefit from them, increasing your referral rate.

Increases revenue per patient immediately.

medical spawaiting room video marketingUnlike most forms of advertising, great waiting room vidoes can boost your revenue immediately without any additional activity or cost by generating questions about additional treatments that your staff can answer without any hard-sell tactics, making both your staff and your patients more comfortable. You're moving the conversation from one that's initiated by you or your staff and that raises your patients buying barriers, to a conversation that your patient initiates. It makes up-selling and cross-selling easy.

Patients don't want to be sold, but they do want to buy. Treating them to a beautifully crafted and entertaining marketing message while they're already inside your business helps them do just that.

If you're interested in increaseing your revenue per patient right now or you just want to learn more, you can take a look at some more waiting room DVDs and videos here.

Christmas Video For Docs: Do They Know It's Christmas Time?

My buddy ZDogg MD put out his newest video this morning; Feed The Wards (Do They Know It's Christmas Time?)

From ZDogg MD:

There comes a time... whend we heed a certain call... when the world must come together as one.

This is NOT one of those times.

But it is the Holidays, so we should probably take a moment to think of those less fortunate than ourselves. People who go hungry while others feast. People without a single shred of hope remaining. I’m talking about healthcare workers taking call during the Holidays.

It’s not enough to give lip service to their sacrifice. That’s why Dr. Harry challenged me to put my mouth where my mouth is and DO SOMETHING this year.

Hence the genesis of a grand telethon to benefit these poor needy souls. The main draw: a collection of pop music’s finest stars, gathered together as Band-Aged to belt out a stirring tribute to the selfless heroes of medicine. Sure, the pop stars all look vaguely like me. And sure, British amalgamation Band-Aid did something vaguely reminiscent in the 80′s. But everyone knows that no one speaks British anymore. It’s time for a remake. It’s time to feed the wards

Break Your Ideas In Half

This video isn't about medical spas or even medicine, but it's right on target with it's message about cutting all of your ideas in half and getting the basics of your business running well.

Jason Fried is the founder and CEO of a company called 37 Signals that makes business software for things like project management and customer relationships. They've had a lot of success and have a large following among techies.

3 Awesome Laser Clinic Video Advertisements

The production values of these ads for a cosmetic surgery clinic in the U.K. will certaninly be outside of the capabilities for all but the largerst medical spas. But you can still deliver some pretty good ads with a shoestring budget if you know what you're doing.


Skin care and sun damage.

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Video Waiting Room Marketing

Video marketing for your waiting room? You'll want to watch this...



Frontdesk is launching truly awesome waiting room video marketing DVDs for doctors, dentists, chiropractors, medical spas, laser clinics and pretty much every other small business with a waiting room or lobby...

Putting a jaw-dropping, attention grabbing video in your waiting room or lobby is the perfect way to add additional sales and profits to your clinics bottom line.

The benefits are obvious. You're marketing directly to a captive audience that's already in your business with information about your products and services. Your clients will be entertained at the same time that you're educating and informing them of the scope of your services. Special offers? New services? Packages or gift certificates? Video marketing will 'soft-sell' your clients and get conversations started that result in increased sales!

If you're a dentist, physician, medical spa, clinic, chiroprator or any other small business that has a waiting room, you'd be a fool to pass up learning how you can increase your profitibility and drive extra sales just by engaging and communicating the right message to your existing clients or patients. It's truly a no-brainer.

This system has been proven in countless businesses that understand that communicating the right message, in the right way, adds to the bottom line.

They're booked solid right now but you can get on their waiting list and be notified when space becomes available.

Note: All images, videos, headlines and copy are copyrighted...

Medical Spa MD Video

Here' s a promo video that the good folks from our Select Partner Frontdesk SEO built for Medical Spa MD to show their new video offering.

It's pretty damn slick if I do say so myself.

Frontdesk SEO is already offering a host of social marketing tools and services for the Medical Spa MD Members who subscribe to thier business services, and now they're adding selected video services in to the mix.

Video has moved into the forefront of both internet marketing and traffic conversion since the fact that it's generally difficult to produce offers something more than simple text.

If you need help with your search engine rankings to drive more traffic, take a look at Frontdesk to see if you need some help in generating new patients while, at the same time, interacting with your existing patients more frequently outside of office visits. There are a number of our Members who use the service and love it.

If you' haven't yet run your existing website through through the free reporting tool to see what Google and the other search engines think of your site, you can do it through the link below.

Run a free SEO report on your website

Medical Spa MD: website seo -

Dr. Scott Shearer of Renaissance Clinique in Sweden was among the first to take me up on a website critique around SEO, content, structure and design.

Since we get a lot of inquires around online marketing and conversion, I'm planning to do these as something of a regular series that breaks down common mistakes and how to implement some simple tactics that will improve your search engine rankings and visibility, and your site's conversions.

If you've got any questions after watching the video, please post a comment and I'll try to answer it there, and address it in future videos. The goal is that these will start out fairly broadly, but get much more specific. After watching just a few you should be much better equiped to make better decisions that could really impact your business.

If you'd like your own site reviewed, please contact us and let us know. Include any specific questions you're looking to have answered and we'll address them.

Ah, almost forgot. I'm thinking of starting either a pocast, or a combination podcast/video series that might include live interviews and interaction in real time. This would be a first for sure. If you're a interested in that be sure to let us know as well. Also, I'm going to include all the links that we discuss in these videos as 'show notes' so that you'll be able to find anything we discuss.

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Marketing Your Medical Spa With A Blog Part 1

Part 1: How to market your medical spa, laser clinic or plastic surgery practice with a blog.

In Part 1 of this video series on building patient traffic with social media, Alex Panagiotopoulos of Freelance MD explains how plastic surgeons, dermatologists and laser centers are using blogging and blog marketing to increase patient traffic and increase SEO for their websites and clinics.

Marketing Your Medical Spa With A Blog Part 2

Part 2: How to market your medical spa, laser clinic or plastic surgery practice with your own blog.

Alex Panagiotopoulos of Freelance MD explains how plastic surgeons, dermatologists and laser centers are using blogging and blog marketing to increase patient traffic and increase SEO for their websites and clinics.

Social Media Marketing: Part 1

Last week we had a webinar on social media marketing and more than 70 Medical Spa MD Members signed up. I'd expected somewhere from 10-15 so having 70+ surprised me somewhat.

Alex Panagiotopoulos of Freelance MD explains basic Twitter functions for physicians running medical spas, laser clinics, and cosmetic medical practices

We had intended to post the entire webcast but, due to some technology issues, the audio wasn't usable. So, Alex was kind enough to recreate the entire presentation in smaller parts.

We'll be posting a number of 'how to' videos as they're available around social media marketing with easy step by step instructions, from how to set up your Twitter account, to advanced techniques on Facebook to attract followers and promote your medical spa.

This video is the first in this series, Social Media Marketing for Medical Spas: Part 1, Alex goes over setting up a Twitter account correctly.

Setting up a Twitter account for your medical spa, laser clinic or plastic surgery practice. of course you'll want to follow Freelance MD and Medical Spa MD on Twitter.

Plastic surgeons, dermatologists, laser clinics, medical spas, skin clinics and laser centers will all benefit from learning about the newest social media marketing tactics and strategies. Social media is growing and your cosmetic medical practice can benefit from it's growth with Twitter, Facebook, Blogging, SEO and do it yourself search engine marketing.

Liposuction Technique: Thin Cannulas

Liposuction Training Video: Why thin liposuction cannulas give the best result.

Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez is a Yale trained, board certified plastic surgeon specializing in multiple procedure makeovers. He performs unique procedures such as the body lift, brazilian butt lift, stem cell facelift, endoscopic brow lift, and lip lift. He is Medical Director of his own AAAASF accredited surgery center in Baltimore, Maryland.

Link to this video on Vimeo.