Posted by: notdeaddinosaur | February 13, 2008

Just Because Everyone Else is Doing it?

Thanks to Dr. Wes for his comment regarding the new kickback racket known as Carol.com. Let me see if I’ve got this straight, though:

Dude! Kickbacks are currently rampant in the finest great medical centers in the country. One only needs to look at how many have arrangements with medical device companies who give kickbacks for volume concessions (yet charge full price to patients) or how many use only the devices invented by their program directors?

And advertising? Should we ignore the transgressions of TV stations that fail to mention that stories about “breakthough” treatments at our finest medical centers were paid for, of course, by those medical centers?

To think that there is not a subterrainian undercurrent of backroom deals far more pernicious than this web-based “kickback” advertising scheme [Carol.com] is naive.

So just because other people are doing it — far more egregiously, perhaps — it means this is ok? Last time I looked, wrong was wrong (it being considered wrong to “kick back” a part of one’s fee for a referral, as in paying for patients) regardless of whether or not “everyone else is doing it.” I wouldn’t accept that as a justification for underage drinking from my kids. Why is this any different?

All they have to do is change how they finance the site; charge physicians and providers a flat fee instead of per appointment, and all my objections disappear like strep throat on amoxicillin.

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