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Is the new professionalism and ACP's new ethics really just about following guidelines?

The Charter ( Medical Professionalism in the New Millennium.A Physician's Charter) did not deal with just the important relationship of ...

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Before Obamacare it was the other people's money effect -Afterwards more so



 When something is being payed for with other people's money, more will purchased. This is also true if you merely think someone else is paying for it, as in the situation that exists with employer paid health care insurance.

Quoting myself from 2006:

Medical care came to be "managed " by the managed care sector because of the concept of "other people's money". To a large degree individuals pay for only a portion of their health care the remainder paid by either employers or the government. There was not much fuss made by these other people until the costs of health care rose to some threshold above which employers and other third party payers including CMS thought costs were getting out of hand. Then entered cost containment via the various cost savings actions of managed care.

The effect on the traditional fiduciary duties of physicians to patients by the duties of the for-profit corporation vis-a -vis its shareholders is the root cause of many ethical problems generated by managed care. Basically the HMO and third party payers generally strive to make money or save it and they introduce mechanisms to control physician behavior to that end even if that control involves abrogation of the fundamental duty of the doctor to place the patient well being and interests first. The efforts of the third parties in that regard weaken the physician-patient relationship and damage the trust element in the relationship.Ethical cover for this abrogation was provided by the introduction and unfortunate widespread acceptance by medical professionals organizations of the "New Professionalism" which alleged a physician's duty to society to be a good steward of society resources must somehow be balanced against the physician's duty to the patient.

With Obamacare, more people will be trying to spend other people's money.The biggest other people is CMS who along with HHS will have mandates to control costs. Mix in the decreasing number of primary care doctors to the number of patients seeking care with HHS/CMS moving to decrease health care providers reimbursements and you have a situation in which patient need more than ever an advocate. But patient advocacy will be not longer be the prime directive but merely a factor to be weighed against the imperative to be a steward of society's scare medical resource to the extent that physicians actually internalize the bogus arguments of the New Professionalism.

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