2010 April 06 Tuesday
Doctor Surgical Center Ownership Increases Surgeries?

Are doctors humans or are they uninfluenced by financial incentives to practice more medicine?

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — When doctors become invested in an outpatient surgery center, they perform on average twice as many surgeries as doctors with no such financial stake, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Health System.

“Our data suggest that physician behavior changes after investment in an outpatient facility. Through what some have labeled the ‘triple dip,’ physician owners of surgery centers not only collect a professional fee for the services provided, but also share in their facility’s profits and the increased value of their investment. This creates a potential conflict of interest,” says study author John Hollingsworth, M.D., M.S., a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the U-M Medical School.

“To the extent that owners are motivated by profit, one potential explanation for our findings is that these physicians may be lowering their thresholds for treating patients with these common outpatient procedures,” Hollingsworth adds.

Oops, we could have had a lower cost health care system.

With the percentage of US GDP going toward medical costs headed for 20% and above something has got to be done. Business as usual (or business as usual plus another government expansion of medical entitlements spending) isn't sustainable.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2010 April 06 11:37 PM  Economics Health


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