Ethical Issues in Managed Care: Can theTraditional Physician-Patient Relationship Be Preserved in the Era of Managed Care or Should It Be Replaced by a Group Ethic?
Over the last decade managed care has become the dominant form of health care delivery, because it has reduced the cost of health care; however, it has also created serious conflicts of interest for physicians and has threatened the integrity of the traditional physician-patient relationship. In this Article, Dr. Grochowski argues that the efficiencies created by managed care are one time savings and will not in the long run reduce the rate of rise of health care expenditures without a concomitant plan to ration health care. He explores the traditional physician-patient relationship and concludes:
- a) that while rationing of health care is inevitable, physicians must not ration care at the bedside;
- b) that physicians must be advocates for their patients;
- c) that physicians must avoid conflicts of interest whenever possible;
- d) that physicians must put the needs of the patient before their own self-interests; and
- e) that physicians must act in ways to promote trust in their relationship with patients.