Medical School Association Suggests Clinical Conflict-Of-Interest Policies
The Association of American Medical Colleges has asked academic medical institutions to adopt conflict-of-interest policies for clinical care similar to those they apply to medical research, Modern Healthcare reports. This is the latest in a series of three conflict-of-interest guidances by the association. One example of the policies suggested is that medical schools acknowledge "that capitated reimbursement, fee-for-service and pay-for-performance systems may each exert financial influence over doctors' treatment decisions" (Rhea, 6/30).
The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog offers another example: "Say you go to a big teaching hospital because you want the best surgeon possible to perform your knee replacement surgery he should be telling you that he invented the artificial knee he'll be using and will therefore receive royalties for it." Institutions should also disclose financial relationships between drug and device makers that might bias clinical decisions (Hobson, 6/30).
The association's chief healthcare officer, Dr. Joanne Conroy, said only 1 percent of institutions already have policies like this in place, MedPage Today reports. "Conroy pointed to Washington University in St. Louis, the Cleveland Clinic, and the Mayo Clinic as having relatively comprehensive policies that met the general principles outlined in the report." The recommendations did not say industry relationships were a bad thing -- only that they should be disclosed (Gever, 6/30).