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Consumer-Driven Health Care May Not Be What Patients Need?Caveat Emptor

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Document date: January 21, 2009
Released online: March 12, 2009


In addition to policy concerns that consumer-directed health care, based on high deductibles and tax-advantaged health savings accounts will lead patients to forgo needed care and would not reduce costs for those with high annual health care costs, this health reform model poses a major threat to the role of physician-patient trust as a fundamental underpinning of the health care system. Although physicians have deviated from ideals of professionalism in various ways, patients still rely on physicians, as professionals, to serve their patients' best interests. In a commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Urban Institute Senior Fellow Bob Berenson and Christine Cassel argue that the competitive vision that is core to consumer-driven care would inevitably replace professional ethics with, at best, commercial ethics, a development that should be resisted as health care reform proceeds.

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Topics/Tags: | Health/Healthcare

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