Physicians and other medical professionals are uniquely susceptible to false reviews on the internet. Physicians are vulnerable to reputation attacks for a number of reasons, and false reviews are especially challenging to physicians because of HIPAA restrictions. Unlike, say, a restaurant owner hoping to engage in damage control and remedy a customer’s bad experience, a physician obviously cannot simply register a Yelp account and respond to an angry patient.
Like with other service industries, anyone can easily log onto Yelp or a medical-specific website, such as Vitals or Healthgrades, and say what is on his or her mind about a physician. In addition to dissatisfied patients, other classes of people that are the sources of false physician reviews include: drug addicts upset after being denied prescriptions; medical malpractice claimants; competitors; disgruntled employees; and extortionists trying to get refunds or avoid paying medical bills. We understand the difference between someone’s First Amendment right of free speech, and someone who is purposefully defaming someone to hurt their business.
We help physicians in this area by:
- Establishing legitimate review programs
- Monitoring for online reputation attacks
- Assembling the appropriate team to help respond if a reputation attack occurs.