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Very Good News: New FCC Rules Target Scam Text Messages

New rules from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should provide even more confidence to healthcare organizations and other businesses in adopting and expanding their use of text messaging for patient, consumer, and staff communications and engagement.

On March 16, the FCC adopted its first regulations concerning scam texting. The new rules, which go into effect immediately, require mobile service providers to block text messages that are likely to be illegal and unlikely to be a source for legitimate texts because they come from "invalid, unallocated, or unused numbers." The rules also require mobile wireless providers to establish a point of contact for text senders to use to inquire about inappropriately blocked texts.

The FCC's announcement on its new rules also includes information indicating the agency is strongly considering other measures to further cut back on scam text messages. The FCC is seeking public comment on proposals to require mobile wireless providers to block texts from entities the agency has cited as illegal robotexters and implement text authentication measures, among others.

For the growing number of organizations and businesses using text messaging as a communication channel, this is welcome news. These rules — and hopefully future requirements and initiatives — should translate to a meaningful reduction in scam text messages. This will help increase confidence in texting as a trusted communication mechanism and should lead to faster engagement and response times as those receiving texts will know the messages they receive are more likely to be genuine and meaningful.

Dialog Health thanks the FCC for adopting these first rules and looks forward to seeing additional text messaging safeguards put in place.

If you're with an organization ready to explore how you can leverage or further expand your usage of texting, reach out. We'd love to tell you about our HIPAA-compliant, conversational two-way text messaging platform and the many ways our clients use texting every day to improve their operational, financial, and clinical performance.



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