I had the pleasure of meeting Dr James Rickert, an orthopedic surgeon and a patient, at the Road to Right Care conference put on by the Lown Institute in March. Dr Rickert works with the The Society for Patient Centered Orthopedic Surgery, advocating for health care reform and patient care that puts the patient in the centre.
One of the topics that he writes and speaks about frequently is conflict of interest in medicine and the financial incentiviazation of care which may be unnecessary or harmful to patients.
To that end, his most recent contribution to the Health Affairs blog, What Can Patients Do In The Face Of Physician Conflict Of Interest?, describes some the major issues that emerge when caring becomes a business. There are also suggested Action Steps for patients to take when confronting these concerns.
Strong relationships between patients and providers are the heart of healthcare; we must work together to improve our culture and hold providers to a high ethical standard to stop the erosion of trust.