The New Paternalism

Doctors were once accused of being paternalistic. Today there is a new paternalism in health care: insurance companies are more and more heavy-handedly forcing doctors to disregard their own clinical judgment as well as their patients’ wishes by imposing “quality” standards through “pay-for-performance” financial rewards and punishments.

Pamela Hartzband and Jerome Groopman write in The New York Times;

“There is now a new paternalism, largely invisible to the public, diminishing the autonomy of both doctor and patient.

In 2010, Congress passed the Physician Payments Sunshine Act to address potential conflicts of interest by making physician financial ties to pharmaceutical and device companies public on a federal website. We propose a similar public website to reveal the hidden coercive forces that may specify treatments and limit choices through pressures on the doctor.

Medical care is not just another marketplace commodity. Physicians should never have an incentive to override the best interests of their patients.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/19/opinion/how-medical-care-is-being-corrupted.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

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