NORTHERN ILLINOIS COUNSELING ASSOCIATES, P.C.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and Text Messages
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a law stating that potential recipients of calls or texts to residential lines or cell phones must agree in writing to receive the messages. By accessing any of the services from Northern Illinois Counseling Associates, P.C. (NICA), you are stipulating to your providing said “express written consent” which includes:
- Acknowledgment that the recipient of service(s) expressly authorizes NICA to deliver telemarketing calls using automatic telephone dialing systems or an artificial/pre-recorded voice.
- Acknowledgment that ‘signing’ such an agreement is not a condition of receiving goods or services (in other words, a recipient of service(s) cannot be denied goods or services if they refuse to agree to receive calls/texts).
- Permission must be written, but it can be provided electronically, following the guidelines of the federal e-sign act and state electronic signature laws.
- Digital consent given by email, website click sign forms, text, telephone keypress, and voice recordings are permissible forms of signature.
Exception to TCPA for Health Care Providers
Health care providers (i.e., NICA) are allowed to place pre-recorded voice and text messages to cell phones without a patient’s prior consent if the message intent is to convey important healthcare information, such as scheduling and appointment reminders, prescription pick-up reminders, etc.
The exception to TCPA, however, does have some rules, including:
- Patients cannot be charged for the call or message.
- Only three messages can be sent per week.
- The messages must be limited to healthcare information and not contain marketing, advertising, other business-related information, etc.
- The messages must also be HIPAA compliant and clients given opt-out choice, which must be acted upon promptly.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office at 815-455-6736 for more information.