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Code of Medical Ethics: Financing and Delivery of Health Care

Health care today challenges physicians to balance patients’ interests with the interests of payers and health care institutions.
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In today's health care, patient-physician relationships are influenced by changing payment systems and models for delivering care and thus physicians must find new ways to balance responsibilities to multiple stakeholders.

Access to Health Care

Physicians regularly confront the effects of lack of access to adequate care and have a corresponding responsibility to contribute their expertise to societal decisions about what health care services should be included in a minimum package of care for all. Physicians should advocate for fair, informed decision making about basic health care.

Health Care Organizations & Physician Practice

Models for financing and organizing the delivery of health care services often aim to promote patient safety and to improve quality and efficiency. They can also pose ethical challenges for physicians that could undermine the trust essential to patient-physician relationships.

Fees & Charges

Physicians individually and collectively should promote access to care for individual patients, in part through being prudent stewards of resources. Thus physicians have a responsibility to balance patients’ needs and expectations with responsible business practices.

AMA Code of Medical Ethics

Visit the Code of Medical Ethics page to access additional Opinions, the Principles of Medical Ethics and the list of current and previous Opinion titles.

These Opinions are offered as ethics guidance for physicians and are not intended to establish standards of clinical practice or rules of law.

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