Corruption feeds off very every profession like a virus and doctors are not immune. The motive is always the same: a new home, a luxury car, next year's European vacation, a bigger bank account.
One Utah doctor held a keen interest in his colleague's rest home patients. His interest, however, was not for their health or comfort because his interest began the day of their death. This doctor picked up the medicare billing for visits and treatment where the dead patient's physician left off. He apparently could not see letting a good account go bad simply because the patient no longer drew a breath.
Does this doctor sound like one you would have hovering over your body wielding a sharp instrument? Good question. But what does ethics have to do with his skills? The answer depends on who he sells those skills to.
Personal injury and Workman's Compensation are two areas where doctor's skills, and some doctor's ethics, are for sale. One such doctor evaluated a WC patient injured in a trucking accident. The doctor was hired by the insurance company holding the policy for his employer. Following the evaluation, the IME (Independent Medical Evaluation) doctor filed his report to the Industrial Commission and his employer, the insurance company.
The report began "The patient gets undressed and dressed well with no assistance." Innocent enough. The Doc then went on to describe the patient's range of motion and physical limitation. Still innocent. But then you find the patient's treatment doctor reported a 20% limitation and a low range of motion; the IME doctor an 8% limitation plus a much higher range of motion and the patient was lying on the examination table with a cold draft up his back when the IME doctor arrived. The patient dressed and undressed himself in seclusion--no doctor, no staff. What was the basis for this doctor's statement of fact? Does truth depend on whose billing address is on the order?
This post is preliminary research for a mag article entitled: "The Company Doctor. Doctors who ease the pain of Insurance Companies." My research website carries pages for anonymous submissions of opinions, anecdotes, information. I would very much appreciate your assistance in this research. Your submissions can include the true names and cities of practice of the doctors, but please, do not include your true name.
Respectfully, Lee Marshall http://www.geocities.com/bookprojects