Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 29 (3-4):278-289 (2001)

The transformation of health-care delivery from fee-for-service medicine to managed care represents a fundamental philosophical shift away from the prevailing medical ethos that the needs of the individual patient take precedence over competing social values, such as reducing health-care costs. In managed care, financial incentives to reduce health-care utilization may result in denying an individual’s claim for medical services.Litigation challenging managed care’s resource allocation decisions often presents the need to resolve conflicting social policy goals, such as the tension between an individual patient’s access to health care and a managed care organization’s need to restrain costs. Conflicts may arise when a patient’s desire for unconstrained health care clashes with a provider’s and an insurer’s cost containment strategies. In turn, cost containment strategies may raise questions about restrictions on physician autonomy and conflicts among stakeholders for control over resource allocation decisions.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1748-720X.2001.tb00348.x
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