The Rise of a Protected Medical Market
The United States before 1950
This chapter traces the history of the United States' medical economy. The United States' market-oriented medical economy has created a wider variety of physicians' conflicts of interest than that which exist in France or Japan. Most physicians are self-employed in group or solo practices and can engage in a broad range of entrepreneurial activities. They can supply ancillary services such as clinical and laboratory tests, or they can dispense medicine. They can often co-own freestanding medical facilities that supply diagnostic imaging or other medical services that they prescribe. Private practitioners also often have conflicts of interest that arise from payment, and financial ties to third-party payers, hospitals, drug firms, and other providers.
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