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Opinion 6.10 - Services Provided by Multiple Physicians

Each physician engaged in the care of the patient is entitled to compensation commensurate with the value of the service he or she has personally rendered.

No physician should bill or be paid for a service which is not performed; mere referral does not constitute a professional service for which a professional charge should be made or for which a fee may be ethically paid or received.

When services are provided by more than one physician, each physician should submit his or her own bill to the patient and be compensated separately, if possible. A physician should not charge a markup, commission, or profit on the services rendered by others.

It is ethically permissible in certain circumstances, however, for a surgeon to engage other physicians to assist in the performance of a surgical procedure and to pay a reasonable amount for such assistance, provided the nature of the financial arrangement is made known to the patient. This principle applies whether regardless of the assisting physician is the referring physician. (II)

Issued prior to April 1977; Updated June 1994