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FCC offers advice for practices that call or text patients

December 20, 2016 Washington — Does your dental practice call or text patients?

The Federal Communications Commission Enforcement Bureau issued an advisory Nov. 18 to promote a better understanding of the clear limits on the use of autodialed text messages, also known as robotexts.

For dentists, this may mean getting a patient's prior written consent and taking certain other steps in order to avoid liability and penalties under federal laws such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The term "automatic telephone dialing system" (or "autodialer") covers any equipment that "has the capacity to store or produce numbers to be dialed and dial them without human intervention but does not need to have the present ability to do so," according to the FCC.

The ADA Center for Professional Success website describes examples of how the law can apply to dental offices as well as a sample consent form to follow. Visit Success.ADA.org for more information.

To file a complaint with the FCC about a robotext, visit consumercomplaints.fcc.gov or call (888) CALL-FCC.