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Physicians performing independent medical examinations (IMEs) for a third party, such as an employer in disability dispute, still owe some legal duties to the patient, even in the absence of a traditional physician-patient relationship (Perspective, p. 974). A commentator reviews judicial rulings, outlines four potential duties the IME physician may owe to the patient, and discusses actions that IME physicians can take to limit liability.
In the third of a four-article series on the high and rising health care costs in the United States, a commentator discusses how the strong U.S. health care provider market of physicians and hospitals keeps prices and quantity (numbers of visits and procedures) high. The interaction of this "provider power" and the rapid dissemination of new technologies, he says, explains why health expenditures are higher in the United States than in other developed countries and why the expenditures are growing so fast (Medicine and Public Issues, p. 996).
Statement of a state-of-the-science conference is available online now.