78% of physicians would provide treatment despite financial penalties; 15% say it depends: 6 key findings

Written by Mary Rechtoris | December 01, 2016 | Print  |

With healthcare's future being largely uncertain, physicians may face various ethical decisions concerning patient care. Medscape polled more than 7,500 physicals spanning more than 25 specialties regarding their ethics in "Medscape Ethics Report 2016: Money, Romance, and Patients."

Here are six findings:

1. Most physicians (78 percent) reported they would not deny or avoid treatment even if facing financial penalties, up from 74 percent in 2014.

2. Fifteen percent of physicians said it depends whether they would deny or avoid treatment if dealing with financial penalties.

3. Seventy-seven percent of providers said they would not upcode or overstate a patient's condition to get treatment covered. Twelve percent of physicians said it depends and 11 percent said they would.

4. While 78 percent of physicians said it's never acceptable to cover up or avoid disclosing a mistake that may harm a patient, 95 percent of physicians said this was unacceptable six years ago.

5. Seventeen percent of responding physicians said they would "cherry-pick" patients to avoid those with comorbid diseases or those who would not follow treatment regimens, while 63 percent said they would not "cherry-pick."

6. The survey found orthopedists and plastic surgeons are the most likely to avoid treating riskier patients, with each specialty having a reported 38 percent of providers saying they would avoid such patients.

More articles on healthcare:
The 5 ASC powerhouses: 35 things to know about the largest surgery center chains
7 things for ASC leaders to know for Thursday — Dec. 1, 2016
Dr. Andrew Conn to moderate IBD panels & more — 3 GI physicians in the headlines

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

To receive the latest hospital and health system business and legal news and analysis from Becker's Hospital Review, sign-up for the free Becker's Hospital Review E-weekly by clicking here.