Consent to Call

The FCC recently made changes to the rules on permissions when a company is allowed to use automated calls to reach out to a person’s home and/or mobile number. Due to these changes, athenahealth is asking our Digital Check-in partners to incorporate one of the two workflows listed below into their product roadmaps.

Both of the following workflows allow practices to capture explicit consent from a patient to allow a practice to use automated calls, which are configured in the Communicator product, to call the patient’s home and/or mobile phone number for appointment reminders and other practice-related calls.

Workflow Solution 1:

A partner’s UI can ask a patient a question as part of the check-in process if it is OK for the practice to use automated calls to inform the patient about an upcoming appointment, office closures, etc.; the partner's UI must provide the patient with a "Yes" or "No" option to provide their answer to this question. Additionally the partner’s UI must present the patient with a button or link that will allow for the display of the following the approved text from athenahealth's compliance group:

“Entry of any telephone contact number constitutes written consent to receive any automated, prerecorded, and artificial voice telephone calls initiated by the Practice. To alter or revoke this consent, visit the Patient Portal “Contact Preferences” page."

The consent-to-call question only needs to be surfaced to the patient if there is no record of an answer in the patient's record, or the API returns a either a "No" answer or nothing because this is the first time the patient is being presented with this consent-to-call question. If the patient has previously answered affirmatively to the consent-to-call question, then the partner interface does not need to surface this question again.

Example:

  1. The patient is handed a tablet to check in for their current appointment.
  2. The partner’s UI surfaces a question asking for approval to use automated calls to call the patient if the get/patient API call returns a False ("No") or is missing a value.   

"I give the practice permission to make automated calls to my home and mobile phone number (for appointment reminders and office closures, etc.)  (  ) Yes  (  ) No"

Click here for terms of use.

The Digital Check-in partner must present an option for the patient to click on a link/button that displays compliance text, listed above, which explains what the patient is agreeing to.

Workflow Solution 2:

If a partner utilizes a terms-of-use page, which patients must accept in order to use the partner’s check-in app, the partner can place the following language in their disclaimer:

“Entry of any telephone contact number constitutes written consent to receive any automated, prerecorded, and artificial voice telephone calls initiated by the Practice. To alter or revoke this consent, visit the Patient Portal “Contact Preferences” page."

Example:

  1. The patient is handed a tablet to check in for their current appointment.
  2. The patient must accept the partner’s terms of service and the consent-to-call language to continue using the Digital Check-in device.
    • If the patient accepts the terms, then the partner must enable the consent-to-call flag parameter in the put or post/patient API call. Enabling this flag will indicate to the practice that the patient has accepted the FCC consent-to-call checkbox terms.
    • If the patient does not accept the partner’s terms of use, then the patient must go to the front desk to check in.
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