Dental Marketing Tip from Jonathan Fashbaugh - Correct Spelling, Is it HIPPA or HIPAA?

Dental website designers and even dental office professionals often ask, “Is it HIPPA or HIPAA?” It’s HIPAA, an abbreviation for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Dental offices, of course, need to be concerned about complying with HIPAA and the related Hi-Tech Omnibus rule of 2009 that prioritized patient privacy in the digital and online dental office environment.

Be sure that your marketing company knows what HIPAA and the Hi-Tech Omnibus rule are and how they impact your office’s online operations. If you don’t, you could be at risk of a breach of protected health information via your marketing due to information intake or storage practices.

Want help right now? Get a free marketing consultation.

Marketing in Dentistry Requires Knowledge of Dental Details

As a dental marketing agency, we include HIPAA training for all of our team members. This includes understanding what protected health information looks like, where we might encounter it, and how to properly protect it.

We also have all of our dental offices add us as business associates using a Business Associate Agreement. This gives us official status as part of their operations and allows us to encounter protected information without it constituting a breach of HIPAA.

Finally, we know how to handle marketing HIPAA sensitivity as part of our clients’ trustworthiness and authority as the go-to dentists in their area. Everyone wants a dentist they can trust and who will protect their information. We want people to know that our client is the dentist for them!

If your website uses HIPPA instead of HIPAA, give it a good read-through. It’s a sign that your marketing company might not truly be dental experts. We pride ourselves on being dental experts and providing the best marketing in the dental industry. If you need us, please call or email us today!

Transcript of Episode:


Welcome to the Marketing Chairside Podcast by Pro Impressions Marketing, where the team covers a variety of dental marketing ideas to help you attract more new patients in the quantity and quality you need to grow your practice.

Jonathan Fashbaugh:

We’re going to jump right into it today. Is it HIPAA or HIPAA? H-I-P-P-A or H-I-P-A-A?


Dentists Ask?

Jonathan Fashbaugh:

I am kind of cheating right now because dentists don’t actually ask this question a whole lot, but they should, and dental marketers should know this. HIPPA is incorrect. It should be spelled HIPAA, and that’s because HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. There’s only one P word in there, Portability, and Accountability Act is the double A. So if you look at your website and it says HIPPA, you need to correct that.

You probably need to dig a little deeper because it could mean that there are some other dental information pieces on your website or in your marketing that don’t really reflect the right things. I mean, they may misrepresent your office or just kind of say that you do things in one way, but you actually do them in another. We’ve only worked with dentists for many years now. We are a dental marketing company only, and so that’s how we know, and it’s like nails on a chalkboard when I see HIPPA.

The other thing is you need to understand that HIPAA was augmented by the Hi-Tech Omnibus Rule in 2009, and that basically protects patients from having their private information shared with people who they’re not supposed to share it with. So if your marketing company has HIPPA on there, to me, that makes me wonder, do they understand patient privacy or is this just kind of another piece of content to them? You can get in a lot of trouble if your information is being shared when it shouldn’t be.

We actually have our clients add us as business associates by what’s called a business associate agreement that gives us legal access to protected health information for their patients as necessary partners in their operations. We need that because we help them with online patient forms and even just in standard contact forms and in call tracking numbers. Sometimes that information comes across because patients will call in with a problem.

I mean, just the fact that they’re a patient at your office isn’t something that you’re supposed to spill, and so be sure to check your marketing, make sure that you’re being represented as the go-to trustworthy dentist that you are in your market so that the correct spelling of HIPAA is there, H-I-P-A-A.

About the Author

Jonathan Fashbaugh is a dental marketing and has invested in HIPAA training for many years. He has been in marketing since 2000 and started working with dentists on their marketing in 2004.