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Are the ethics of healthcare compatable with the ethics of business?

Healthcare providers need to be profitable to serve patients. But, the interests of the patient are primary over the interest of profits. Are the two co-exist?
Is physician entrepreneurship a contradiction in terms?


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  • Jan 22 2014: Do patients have any ethical responsibility to optimize scarce healthcare resources in any of this? Or, are they just lemmings being led to slaughter by greedy capitalists and physician entrepreneurs who take advantage of unknowing prey?
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      Feb 4 2014: Hi Dr. Meyers,

      Thank you for your insightful, timely, and highly relevant questions. These are the questions I'm asking myself as a patient or consumer of healthcare. Most of the time, I feel just like a lemming as you mentioned.

      What can we do about this?
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      Feb 9 2014: Arlen, We are talking about a salad which is comprised of apples and oranges. First the apples: The Hippocratic Oath binds the doctor to provide care to the best of his ability swearing to medical honesty. The oranges: The cost of doing business. The realities are that medical practice is very expensive ... in terms of education, facilities, equipment, personnel, insurance, and all of the other "costs".

      So as the salad cannot be made with out each of the two ingredients nor can the physician serve his patients without the necessities of "doing business".

      Laws passed that says a hospital must treat all who request services have cost the medical profession dearly. As the federal government has refused to protect our boarders the illegals have found that they can go to emergency rooms and get treatment with no means or cares about payment ... this means that there are approximately 11 million who can get "free" care. The private practice also has dead files that must be absorbed ... insurance companies deny claims or seriously reduce the payment for treatment ... Now there is Obamacare which has the force of law to question and deny medical opinions. Oops, I forgot it is a TAX that can question medical opinion. ACA can also set payment limits which would further reduce the income of the doctor. All of this to obtain a goal that both Hillary and Obama proclaimed ... sole source providers. Socialism in action. Worked so well in all of the other third world countries why not do it here .... As Nancy Polosi stated ... First lets pass it and then examine it .... That happened and in the light of day the problems are glaring and damning.

      I looked up ethics: ethics, also called moral philosophy, the discipline concerned with what is morally good and bad, right and wrong. ... A person is either ethical or not .... by having two professions or ten the answer remains the same ... good or bad .. right or wrong.

      I wish you well.
      • Feb 9 2014: Illegal immigrants represent about 2 % of ER visits
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          Feb 9 2014: I just did a quick search and cannot find anything which substantiates your statement that 2% of ER visits are illegal immigrants Arlen. Could you please provide a link to where you got that information? Thanks
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          Feb 9 2014: Out of the 2000 characters I wrote you only heard about illegal immigrates ....

          Sorry to have wasted your time .... Bob.
      • Feb 9 2014: We should be celebrating physician entrepreneurship. I don't mean price gouging or ripping off patients. I mean adding patient defined value through the deployment of innovation.

        We need to eliminate the unintended barriers and give patients the tools they need to be better patient customers...transparent outcomes and prices, an incentive to spend carefully, better ways to partner and communicate with care teams, etc.

        Medicine is no lonter a doctor taking care of a patient. It's a care team taking care of a patient's team or community.
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          Feb 9 2014: I wholeheartedly agree Arlen, that the practice of medicine can be a "team" endeavor. I consider the medical professionals involved with my health care as a team, and I am the captain of the team.

          In order to be on a team, we each have to do our part. We can "give patients the tools they need....", and if a person does not know how to use those tools, they are the same as they are without the tools. In order to communicate with care teams, a person needs to have information about their own body/mind functions, and that seems like something some folks don't want to explore.

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