September 10th, 2011
This is truly a complex question, it’s true that insurance companies do employ some physicians for claim and qualification purposes; however, the AMA’s code of ethics is also a document in play for physicians (at least those in the United States). In today’s world insurance companies tend to dictate the type of care and tests that can be conducted by a medical professional, because it comes down to will the professional be paid for their services and technology? Some physicians will alert a patient that a certain type of treatment or procedure may not be covered by insurance and therefore the patient is responsible for payment. Then the decision is left up to the patient themselves. While this is a way for the patient to work around insurance companies it is truly unfortunate that the doctors are bound to the insurance companies. Compared to an office situation where the boss issues payment through the accounting department for employees, the insurance companies issue payment to the doctors for the services rendered. Therefore, in a direct comparison the doctors do in fact work for the insurance companies, because that is who is paying them. It is just the reality of today’s world.