Ethical Issues in Managed Care for the Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Finnerty, James J.
Pinkerton, Jo Ann V.
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 1998 Aug; 179(2): 308-315.
The practice of medicine is now managed. Of this there is no doubt. The individual physician is placed in an ever-increasingly vulnerable position. He or she must cope with a myriad of contractual arrangements with strange concepts such as "withholds," "capitation," "covered lives," "limited liability on the part of the managed care organization;" "outcomes analysis," "practice guidelines," and, last but not least, "gag rules." Patients are being denied care that the physician may consider, if not essential, at least most desirable. On the one hand, the physician must serve a fiduciary obligation to the patient and act as the patient's advocate; on the other hand, the physician's income may be proportionally dependent on limiting the extent of the patient's access to unlimited care. The physician may be limited by restrictions imposed by the managed care organization as to what disclosures he or she may make to the patient regarding limitations of care. We will explore these issues from an ethical perspective and attempt to offer some insights on the basis of a review of the comments of many knowledgeable commentators on this topic, and we will explore the virtues that physicians will need to rely on to come to grips with the dilemmas they will face in the future with managed care.
Conflict of Interest; Costs and Benefits; Disclosure; Economics; Ethics; Gatekeeping; Guidelines; Health; Health Care; Incentives; Institutional Ethics; Legal Liability; Liability; Medical Ethics; Medicine; Moral Obligations; Managed Care; Obstetrics and Gynecology; Patient Advocacy; Patients; Physicians; Practice Guidelines; Quality of Health Care; Review; Virtues;
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