Joe Stoddard Medical Marketing and Personal Privacy

by: Andrew Hoffman

Publication Date: April 26, 2010
Length: 6 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-047

Core Disciplines: Ethics, Leadership/Organizational Behavior

Partner Collection:

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Teaching Note

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Joe Stoddard just received a letter from his health care provider that he believes is an invasion of privacy. Eight months earlier as he prepared to run in the Boston Marathon, he took a stress test and signed a release form. But he did not believe his medical information would be used for marketing purposes. Although the test showed no abnormalities, his company initiated a disease state management program as a result of the marketing activities. Stoddard went on a personal crusade trying to answer questions like: Does the use of individual medical data for marketing a new service violate longstanding ethical obligations that doctors have to protect the confidentiality of their patients’ medical records?

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Identify if companies should market products to individuals with specific health conditions.
  • Explore the use of data for marketing initiatives in the health sector and apply lessons learned across industry.
  • Explain what, if any, recourse patients have against insurance companies using their information for marketing purposes.
  • Create a business case for or against using health information for marketing purposes.