Effect of Financial Relationships on the Behaviors of Health Care Professionals: A Review of the Evidence [Book Review]

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 40 (3):452-466 (2012)

Abstract

Physicians, scholars, and policymakers continue to be concerned about conflicts of interests among health care providers. At least two main types of objections to conflicts of interest exist. Conflicts of interests may be intrinsically troublesome if they violate providers’ fiduciary duties to their patients or they contribute to loss of trust in health care professionals and the health care system. Conflicts of interest may also be problematic in practice if they bias the decisions made by providers, adversely impacting patient outcomes or wastefully increasing health care costs. This latter objection may be observed in differences in the prescriptions written, procedures performed, or costs billed by health care professionals who have conflicting interests, when compared to those that do not have such financial relationships.

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