Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hospitals are the new Drug Companies

Good:  Regulations aimed at limiting the influence of drug reps over physician behavior has led to lots of unemployed drug reps.

Bad:  Those same drug reps are now being hired by hospitals to influence physician behavior.  Some choice quotes (emphasis mine):

"While hospitals have always tried to woo doctors to refer patients to them, the institutions are growing more direct in their efforts. The hospitals mine data to see which doctors have the most profitable, well-insured patients, and then they assign those doctors to a sales rep. "

"While federal law prohibits hospitals from paying doctors to admit patients, hospitals paying sales people to influence doctors can get the same results [said a critic]."

Remember, market leverage is what allows hospitals to raise prices.  Just one more example of why it is profoundly unwise to pretend medical providers are angels.

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