Gag rules—clauses in managed care contracts that prevent physicians from disclosing information that the plan may find disparaging, but that could relate directly to the patient's health—have recently been the subject of ethical condemnation and legislative prohibition. Another serious problem in managed care contracts, trade secrets, or guidelines and quality assurance mechanisms that are imposed on physicians while their origins are shrouded in proprietary secrecy, have by contrast received little attention. Responses to these ethical challenges to the physician's integrity must involve individual physicians, managed care organizations, professional organizations, and public policymakers.
Arch Intern Med. 1997;157:2037-2043
Brody H, Bonham VL. Gag Rules and Trade Secrets in Managed Care ContractsEthical and Legal Concerns. Arch Intern Med. 1997;157(18):2037-2043. doi:10.1001/archinte.1997.00440390019003