When marketing, you identify the needs of your prospects in the hopes of tugging them and creating demand. For EMR vendors, you do this by identifying the need for better patient management. Clinics who fail to circulate medical information properly also make for potential clients. The same goes for institutions who want tighter, secure control over who gains access to personal health data.
All these needs however are also tied with the commonly known Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). While it has ties with insurance as well, the act is often featured in the pitches, marketing materials, and sales presentations of many medical software companies.
Why is this so? It’s because it makes the protection of health information and adherence to software standards mandatory. Penalties will be given both to providers who sell tools below those standards and those who neglect to purchase the tools that meet them.
This puts us back to the needs that are being sparked in order to create the demand. Simply put, you can say that the addition of the HIPAA can stimulate the demand for quality technology even further.
As a result, there are vendors who run their marketing and lead generation campaigns like HIPAA hound dogs.
Well, maybe that’s a little too extreme. But the fact is, it’s not always a good idea to use HIPAA compliance to start conversations with prospects. Here are just some quick reasons why:
- It feels like a threat – You’re implying that they’re breaking the law with their current medical software.
- The act is still complicated – Like many laws, there are complications so even you yourself would need a lot of expertise on hand to detect any actual violations.
- It could backfire – Your prospect might end up asking a few scrutinizing questions as well. After all, the law applies both ways for both vendors and customers.
Should You Play That HIPAA Card?Furthermore, there are common rebuttals to questions about HIPAA compliance. Pair this up with a gatekeeper’s quick ability to spot loaded questions and you might as well just start dancing on landmines.
- They already have providers – You think it hasn’t occurred to them that they may be just a little behind the times when it comes to handling medical information? Unfortunately, that doesn’t make the first vendor to have noticed. It’s likely that they already have someone who is looking into it before you even called or emailed them.
- They’re weighing their options – This might actually make you hopeful. Still, just because they know they need to comply doesn’t mean they’ll select the first provider who contacts them. You can still have competition here so get ready to put in some extra effort in follow-ups and negotiations if you think you’re the option they’ll pick.
- They’ve checked with a consultant – In other words, they got a second opinion. While not necessarily a competitor’s, it can be a waste of time arguing with someone who is refusing because of a third party who is not there.
This in no way diminishes the importance of HIPAA compliance for everyone. In fact, you diminish it if you’re eager to cite the law just so you jumpstart a prospect’s interest in your medical software.
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