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The Profession of Medicine's Antitrust Paradox

Between 1970 and 1980, the Federal Trade Comission took actions against the American Medical Association, prohibiting it from enforcing certain ethical standards amonog physician members, including a prohibition on advertising, and entering into contracts with non-physician corporations. This paved the way for Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO's) - non-physician corporations that promised to make healthcare more affordable for all. The rationale was that if physicians were only to compete amongst themselves as commodities, rather than as a learned profession, then their labor costs would decrease, and helathcare would become less expensive. 

Between 1980 and 2018, healthcare costs as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) have nearly quadrupled, according to the Brookings Institute. The salary of physicians employed by corporations has decreased, but patients and tax-payers are not seeing these "savings." Instead, they are being pocketed by corporations - which then raise the cost of healthcare. 

That commoditizing physicians to compete on the "free market" in the image of Milton Friedman, while handing the keys of healthcare over to lay-corporations has resulted in skyrocketing healthcare costs and lower quality of care, has been deemed The Profession of Medicine's Antitrust Paradox by Take Medicine Back. 

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The Capitol Forum: Corporate Influence in Medicine

The Capitol Forum recently hosted a conference on Competition in healthcare where Take Medicine Back was represented by founder Mitchell Li, MD. Amon others featered featured were Eileen Appelbaum, economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and Marco Fernandez, MD, founder of the Association for Independent Medicine. Watch as Capitol Forum founder Teddy Downey hosts this panel discussion on the Corporate Practice of Medicine through an antitrust lens. 

The Payment System: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in context of CPoM

The Corporate Practice of Medicine (CPoM) Doctrine was envisioned before any form of coordinated payment system (employer sponsored insurance or Medicare or Medicaid) were significant factors. Today, the influence of insurance companies, including rampant misuse of prior-authorization, and the funding of corporate entities in violation of CPoM Doctrine by the tax-dollars of the American people is a major factor in non-physician influence on the practice of medicine for profit. Watch David Dayen, executive director of The American Prospect speak about "Patient Zero: The Corporate Capture of Medicare" 

Academic Research on Private Equity and the Corporate Practice of Medicine

This research should not have to exist. Treating physicians and patients as a commodity, financializing the healthcare system, placing profits over patients, while lowering the standard of care would be considered an unethical experiment by any IRB. More research is emerging daily on the harms of PE and financialization on the healthcare system. In this video, dermatologist and Take Medicine Back advisory board member, Sailesh Konda MD reviews the research on PE at the 2023 Take Medicine Back Summit. 

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