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Why didn't MY doctor tell me about this treatment option...

Posted by Ed Davis, DPM on 7/09/03 at 20:58 (123908)

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Docs Often Don't Reveal All Medical Options: Survey

About one in three physicians surveyed said they have declined to
offer 'useful' medical services to some patients because
the services
weren't covered under their patients' health insurance, according to
a study published in Health Affairs. The findings indicate a
significant percentage of physicians may be violating a code of
medical ethics that strongly discourages doctors from withholding
information because of coverage restrictions, said Matthew Wynia, a
physician who is director of the Institute for Ethics, an independent
research organization affiliated with the American Medical
Association.
What's more, of the doctors who said they don't discuss useful
treatments with some patients because of coverage restrictions, about
35% said they have found themselves in that position more frequently
in the past five years. Wynia said the survey of 720 physicians had
significant limitations, including a potentially widely varying
interpretation of 'medically useful.' Failing to inform
patients
about useful treatments denies them the opportunity to challenge
their insurance companies' restrictions, Wynia said. Physicians
'need
to devise ways to talk honestly about what is not covered, why it
isn't and what we can do about it,' he said.

Source: Michael Romano, Modern Healthcare [7/8/03]

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