Confused about hosting Medicare compliant meetings? If you are looking to host a marketing event to get the attention of new leads, there are a few things you need to look out for to ensure your event is in line with the CMS requirements for these types of events.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may make hosting in-person events a challenge. It is important to remember that when in-person events are possible, some invitees may be apprehensive about attending. We advise you to stay attentive to local regulations, case trends, and the feelings of those you’ve invited when considering how to conduct your meeting. There is always the option to host these Medicare compliant meetings in a virtual setting if all else fails.
Consider the Type of Sales Meeting
When planning an event, consider these two types of marketing sales meetings: formal and informal. There are different rules for each. Consider the following:
- Informal: Usually conducted at a kiosk, table, or booth.
- Formal: Guests are invited, and specifically outlined plans will be discussed.
Once you’ve chosen which route you’re taking with your selling, you must then choose a time, date, and location. Remember to register your event with the necessary carriers and vendors and make sure that it is in a public setting that is not associated with healthcare. Make sure to steer clear of exam and patient rooms, treatment areas, and pharmacy areas where patients can interact with providers and receive prescriptions.
Areas in a healthcare setting that are permitted for sales activities are common areas, entryways, vestibules, waiting rooms, cafeterias, and conference rooms.
Scheduling these Medicare compliant meetings at least a month in advance gives everyone ample time to advertise for it, and your attendees to RSVP. Using a dedicated Field Marketing Organization (FMO) to handle marketing materials and communications for your events helps take the pressure off you leading up to the event. If you haven’t already partnered with an FMO, ensure you know what to look for before you get on board with one that may end up hurting your business in the long run.
Registering your event, depending on the carrier, may not be a requirement for sales meetings. However, it is a good course of action to ensure the carriers keep accurate records of their agents educational, informal, and formal sales events. Just like scheduling, registering your event with carriers is best when handled sooner than later.
Reading up on your carriers’ reporting requirements is important. Failing to register an event in time will not be a good look and thus force you to reschedule it. On top of that, it could spell disaster for your sales commission and may lead to you having your contract revoked.
Keep in mind to mark your sales events appropriately. If your event is not educational, don’t register it as one. Stick to the terminology that is accurate to your event when registering and advertising.
As mentioned above, if your event is a “sales” event, you cannot use words like “educational” in your advertisements or on your marketing materials. You also cannot require attendees to submit contact information to RSVP for the event.
The products you plan on reviewing should be disclosed in your marketing materials. If you cancel your event at least two days in advance, it’s good practice to notify those who have already RSVPed or who may still be considering attending of the change.
Do not offer gifts above a cash value of $15 or a free meal to draw people to your event. You also cannot ask for any personal information (social security, bank account, or credit card numbers) by phone from those attending or who have previously attended your events.
Lastly, you must include the following disclaimer on all advertisements and invitations for your event:
“For accommodation of persons with special needs at sales meetings call <insert phone and TTY number>.”
Wrapping It All Up
For more information about how to host Medicare compliant meetings, consider the dually relevant list of dos and don’ts we compiled for your events.
Always be cognizant of secret shoppers and treat all of your attendees in the same kind and respectful manner. That way, the secret shopper will only have good things to say about you!
If conducting meetings by yourself seems overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. An FMO that is dedicated to your success as much as you like Carolina Senior Marketing is happy to offer guidance and suggestions along the way to make each meeting successful! As the choice for agents in the Eastern United States, we ensure they are successful in their Medicare and insurance marketing strategy. Call us at (919) 460-6073 to find out more.