DC Circuit shuts down effort to limit TCPA liability for communicating health information

March 27, 2018

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, on March 16, 2018, struck a blow to healthcare industry efforts to exclude certain communications subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) from liability under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA). In its unanimous decision in ACA International v. Federal Communications Commission,1 the D.C. Circuit affirmed the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) holding in its 2015 Declaratory Ruling and Order (2015 Order)2 exempting certain exigent healthcare-related calls from the TCPA’s consent requirement, but leaving callers subject to TCPA liability for “billing- and account-related” healthcare calls made to wireless numbers.3

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