BLOG: Ethical dilemmas: insurers offer doctors bonuses for using cheaper medications
An article in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal describes a new payment incentive from WellPoint Health Insurance for oncologists treating breast cancer, in which doctors receive a $350 per month bonus payment for using an insurance-approved chemotherapy regimen.
The approved regimen has been described by leading specialists in the field as reasonable for the majority of patients but is certainly not an ideal fit for everyone.
John A. Hovanesian
Furthermore, oncology’s steadily growing array of genetically optimized treatment regimens — with varying degrees of proven success — would persuade at least some results-driven oncologists treating patients away from such conventional regimens.
It has long been illegal for doctors to receive payments from drug companies or other interested parties to prescribe certain brands of medications.
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