Navigation Links
For Patients' Sake, Insurance Companies Urgently Need a Code of Conduct
Date:4/28/2009

ENCINO, Calif., April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Managed care companies are the only sector of the health care industry lacking a code of conduct. It is time for that to change.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090428/PH06755)

Recently, the American Medical Association (AMA) drafted language for a National Health Insurer Code of Conduct. The code's four key principles are: clinical autonomy, transparency, corporate integrity and patient safety and welfare. I commend the AMA for drafting this code. Unfortunately, the health insurance industry has been silent on it.

Why is this code of conduct so important? Financial incentives -- not patient welfare -- are the driving force behind insurance operations.

A survey by the Medical Society of the State of New York showed that more than 90 percent of physicians indicated they had to change a patient's treatment -- or medication -- based on restrictions from insurance companies. A survey by The Toledo Blade of members of the Ohio State Medical Association and the AMA revealed that 95 percent of respondents said insurers interfered with decisions about prescriptions, 91 percent with testing, 74 percent with referrals and 69 percent with hospitalization decisions.

Every day insurance companies challenge physicians' authority and expertise. Studies and my personal experience reinforce that. This problem is particularly acute as insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers seek to dictate a particular medication to prescribe. Insurance formularies and other barriers to specific medications make it difficult for doctors to prescribe the medication they deem the most appropriate.

In the worst cases, unauthorized drug switching occurs. That's when a medication is switched to another drug that is supposed to be its equivalent but might have different active ingredients -- often by a pharmacist and without the doctor's knowledge. This seemingly harmless switch can be detrimental to the patient, sometimes increasing risks and decreasing care.

We doctors prescribe the medication that's best per individual patient. Although in some instances a generic alternative might work, it is not always appropriate. The patient's doctor should make that determination, not an insurance company concerned with its bottom line.

The time has come for the health insurance industry to adopt a National Health Insurer Code of Conduct. The health and welfare of every patient is at stake.

Dr. Richard Allen Williams

Founder, President and CEO, the Minority Health Institute

Founder, Association of Black Cardiologists

Author, "The Textbook of Black-related Diseases"


'/>"/>
SOURCE National Minority Quality Forum
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Arterial disease of the leg frequently overlooked in patients with heart disease
2. Automated Calls May Help Doctors Monitor Patients
3. Study finds higher drug co-pays discourage patients from starting treatment
4. Cardiac patients trial home-based rehabilitation
5. Barriers to Health Care, Prescription Choice Hurt Patients, Leading Doctor Says
6. Sustaining Excellence in All Aspects of Cardiac Care Rare But Lives Could Be Saved If More Patients Were Treated at Top-Performing Hospitals
7. Nations Substance Abuse Problem Will Be Solved Only if Patients Are Given Same-Time, Same-Place Access to Mental Health Services, Says Leading Expert
8. A New, Highly Effective, Non-Narcotic Pain Medication Now Available for Chronic Pain Patients
9. New Data Presented at AUAs Annual Conference Prove GELNIQUE(TM) (oxybutynin chloride) 10% gel is an Effective, Safe Option for Female Overactive Bladder (OAB) Patients
10. Patients at community health clinics less likely to be referred to cardiologist
11. Consumers Union Report: Almost 100,000 Surgical Patients Didnt Get the Right Infection Prevention Care During Year Studied
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... ... Silicon Valley Hair Institute, the San Francisco Bay Area leader in women's ... loss. Although hair transplant procedures can be seen as more of a man’s issue, ... two reasons a woman may see her hair thinning. , “We are used to ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Bacteria and fungi are probably not the first ingredients that come ... including the right microorganisms in your diet can actually improve health outcomes. And the good ... is the topic of a new peer-reviewed paper led by Maria Marco, ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... March 27, 2017 , ... Drs. Justin Kolnick, Kara Diamond, ... teaching their patients about the key role this treatment plays in protecting oral health, ... endodontist. To better serve those who need a root canal in White Plains, NY ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... 27, 2017 , ... Buzzies parent company, The TouchPoint Solution’s CEO and co-founder, ... and UBS’ Project Entrepreneur. Mayo will present her pitch about the lifestyle wearable devices, ... second annual venture competition ignites bold ideas by providing women access to the tools, ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... March 27, 2017 , ... ... athletes. A type of groin injury, it occurs when the muscles around the ... pain in and around the lower torso, as well as accompanying tenderness and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - INVICTUS MD STRATEGIES CORP. ("Invictus ... Invictus MD is pleased to announce it has received ... on the TSX Venture Exchange.  Receiving ... year of significant achievements for Invictus-MD. Some of which ... at AB Laboratories Inc. ("AB Labs"), a Licensed Producer ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... YORK , March 27, 2017 ... colors as the NASDAQ Composite closed the trading session ... lower; and the S&P 500 was down 0.08%. US ... nine sectors finishing the day in green. Pre-market today, ... Wright Medical Group N.V. (NASDAQ: WMGI), Amedica Corporation (NASDAQ: ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... YORK , March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... technology platform for value-based precision medicine, today ... collaboration with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation to help ... cancer patients. As part of ... previous announced collaboration entered into January 2016, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: