Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Executive Deputy EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: The study by Dr Wynia and colleagues1 regarding physicians manipulating reimbursement
rules points to the inherent ethical tensions between providing medical care
that will benefit patients and providing care that is covered by insurers.
The American Medical Association's Code of Medical Ethics is explicit regarding
physicians' obligation to be truthful and to abstain from any fraud or deception.
Opinion 9.132 of the Code states that "Physicians should make no intentional
misrepresentations to increase the level of payment they receive or to secure
non-covered health benefits for their patients."2
Physicians must follow ethical and legal standards when advocating for their
Rakatansky H. Should Physicians Manipulate Reimbursement Rules to Benefit Patients?. JAMA. 2000;284(11):1382-1383. doi:10.1001/jama.284.11.1378