Call for Papers on “Buying and Selling Health Care”

The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics plans to publish a symposium issue in Winter 2014 exploring ethical, legal, and clinical issues triggered by the increasing commercialization of health care in the United States. The symposium will address a variety of dynamics present in this quintessentially American medical marketplace, with a particular focus on how commercialism impacts practitioners, patients, and policy makers at all levels.

Papers from any perspective or disciplinary background and concerning any aspect of the “buying and selling of health care” are welcome.

Deadlines and submission instructions below the fold.

We are primarily interested in papers between 15 and 30 double-spaced pages in length, although longer papers will receive careful consideration.

Please submit an abstract by November 1, 2013. Decisions on abstracts will be made quickly, andcompleted papers will be due by February 7, 2014. All submitted papers will undergo additional review by anonymous peers prior to final acceptance.

Correspondence should be directed to the symposium co-chairs, Joshua E. Perry of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business at (812-856-0120) or Larry R. Churchill of Vanderbilt University’s Medical School at (615-936-3540).

Potential Topics Include:

  • Is the practice of medicine a profession with business-like features, or a business with unique service components? Does the answer to this question matter for patients or practitioners? If health care in the United States is ultimately understood as a business, in what ways is this business enterprise similar to or divergent from other business practices and industries?
  • Will the Affordable Care Act ultimately move health care delivery in the United States more in the direction of a market-driven, patient-as-consumer system, or in the direction of expanded government involvement, or in the direction of strengthening the professional service dimensions of health care?
  • In the broader context of what Relman termed (in 1980!) the “medical-industrial complex,” do the life science, medical device, and pharmaceutical industries have any greater ethical responsibilities than do other (non-health care related) business enterprises? Do health care insurance companies? Do government bureaucracies?
  • What ethical and legal issues are triggered by a physician’s employment arrangement or ownership interest(s) in health care organizations or services to which patients are referred for treatment?
  • What consequences flow from the increasing adoption by hospitals, hospices, and other health care providers of for-profit organizational structures and aggressive marketing strategies?
  • What ethical and legal issues are raised by contemporary trends such as concierge medicine, physician entrepreneurialism, and medical tourism?
  • How should health care providers resolve economic or business concerns, i.e., decisions about costs, payments, insurance reimbursement, hospital budgets, etc. that impact on the delivery of clinical care to patients? How should health care managers and executives resolve these conflicts?

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