If your doctor has refused to provide you with medical care because you didn’t sign an anti-review contract, or if you have had your online reviews of your doctor removed, you can complain about these practices by contacting the following groups:
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state Attorneys General (e.g., California’s) enforce actions against businesses that commit deceptive or unfair trade practices. These agencies may decide that anti-review contracts violate consumer protection laws.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Office of Civil Rights are in charge of enforcing HIPAA patient privacy protections. These federal agencies have already prohibited a doctor from promising to “not circumvent” HIPAA regulations in exchange for patients’ agreement to not publicly comment on medical care. Learn how to file a complaint here.
- The American Medical Association (AMA) provides information on how to report doctors who may be behaving unethically to either the AMA or state-level medical boards. Doctors who require patients to sign medical anti-review contracts may run afoul of AMA ethical standards by: (a) placing their “financial interest above the welfare of their patients,” (Opinion 8.03); and (b) breaching their duty of confidentiality by identifying their patients’ names to enforce medical gag orders (Opinion 10.01(4)). Read the AMA’s medical ethics codes FAQs. You can also report your doctor to your state’s medical board. A list of state medical boards is available here.
- The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Public Citizen may be able to help you if a doctor tries to remove your reviews or legally threatens you because you posted an online review.