AMA to Physicians: Patient Welfare First, Economic Concerns Second
The AMA's policy encourages physicians to always make treatment and referral decisions based on the patient's best interest, not the economic interest of the hospital or health system. According to the report, the goal of the AMA's policy is to protect the autonomy of physicians.
The policy statement comes at a time when the pool of independent physicians is steadily shrinking. According to an American Medical News report, independent physicians made up 57 percent of the workforce in 2000. In 2012, that number dropped to 39 percent.
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