" You stole my patient when she was admitted to a hospital I don't go to". " How come all my dialysis patients are being taken away by the other group in town as they open a new unit?"
These are concerns and ethical issues that many nephrologists in practice face as competition arises between practicing groups. A recent CJASN article highlights many issues that we face ethically when such issues arise. This paper is almost as close to a policy statement re such unethical practices that are business minded and not patient centered.
Key points that are discussed have to deal with how one group can refrain from soliciting other groups patients and keep their business interests aside while taking care of patients.
Tips suggested are:
1. Rescual ( don't get involved in care of the other group's patients)
2. Avoid soliciting
3. Full transparency to the patient if you have to get involved.
4. Avoid self referrals to one's unit or office
5. Provide a collegial environment( while competition is good, we all went into this profession for patient benefit)
Glad an article to this regard is published in nephrology. Its worth applauding the authors on a topic that is often faced by many of us in a competitive environment; and to highlight that such tactics that are often used are unethical and remove us far far away from our professional oath.
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