Physician market power

On Aaron’s suggestion, I’m reading Paul Starr’s The Social Transformation of American Medicine (all posts pertaining to it are under the STAM tag). It is too good not to quote. So, I’ll be doing so as I read it. Here’s what caught my eye on page 24:*

What’s interesting about this passage is it suggests that individuals are not able to offset the market power of physicians but organizations can. In other words, this is an argument for “salaried arrangements,” as provided in the passage, but also for a role of insurers as care managers and bulk purchasers. Naturally, no arrangement is a perfect solution to all problems. Which solution is to be preferred depends on how relevant factors are prioritized, such as overall cost, out-of-pocket cost, consumer-directedness, physician autonomy, quality, etc.

*I don’t have an electronic copy from which I can cut and paste text. I’ve typed in paragraphs from books in prior posts, but it’s not fun. Many pages are available via Google Books and I’ll be capturing images from those. The disadvantages are that I can’t streamline the text with ellipses and it doesn’t render searchable text. Oh well.

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