Quote from Joan Z
I am sorry to hear you have seen a LOT of unethical doctors. What do you mean by this? What is your practice situation?
The quick answer is, of course I would... in practice, it would depend on what you mean by unethical. Something that harms a pt? In a heartbeat.
OTOH something like downcoding one time, or feeding answers to a pt so insurance will cover the cost of a procedure.... I would love to say that I would always uphold the law, but in practice I have seen that there is a lot of gray between black and white. I would minimally speak to the physician (I am not known for keeping my mouth shut), make sure he/she knows that what is going on is wrong and see what the response is, and go from there.
I've seen doctors pressure patients into getting PT (because they owned the clinic) or sleep studies (once again, they owned the sleep center). They've pressured patients into buying supplements for weight loss, energy, etc b/c they make money off of it. One of the doctors was overheard telling his friend that he could make $3,000 per month if he got 100 pts on his weight supplement, so he was putting everyone on it if they were overweight or if they complained of fatigue. Of course, this stuff is not regulated by the FDA.
These docs are now pushing skin care products and laser resurfacing. Their PA told me that she has overheard the doctor tell patients they have crows feet around their eyes and he has the solution for them...and they were there because of a health concern! These doctors aren't dermatologists or cosmetic surgeons, but plain old family practice docs. Also, those doctors are now including IMT's, carotid dopplers and nerve conduction tests to their extensive list of services. Once again, the PA is being pressured into ordering needless studies for patients, just so the clinic can make money.
I keep telling her that she needs to report them to the Board of Medicine, but she's just going to look for another job instead. I can tell you this, if my doctor started pushing this type of BS on me, I would walk out the door and find another doctor PLUS report him to the BOM for unethical behavior. It's just amazing that physicians would sink so low and their PA/NP's not report them!