Wittliff | Cutter name partners Reid Wittliff and Slade Cutter spoke at the TexMed 2022 Conference in Houston on April 29. They discussed practical tips for physicians looking to use social media in their medical practice.

Wittliff, whose clients include medical practices in online reputation cases, says that online comments that would be uncontroversial in almost any other business can cause physicians to run afoul of HIPAA regulations.

“I’ve dealt with some of the government attorneys doing HIPAA investigations, and they take the position that if you acknowledge a patient’s online post in any way –  even if somebody posts something favorable about your practice or you as a doctor or a health care provider and you simply say, ‘Thank you,’ – that’s a violation of HIPAA,” Wittliff told the Texas Medical Association in 2021. “So it is really, really important that you think long and hard before you respond to any kind of online post.”