Illegal in medicine: Paying for referrals.
It is illegal to pay someone to get referrals in medicine in most places.
The reason why is because you can see how this could be easily against the best interest of the patient.
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Group A pays for referrals from a specific urgent care.
All patients who go to the urgent care will get referred to Group A, even if they don’t need to, or if it is not the best place they should go.
Group A profits immensely in this instance.
Not only is it bad for the patients, it’s also bad for Group B, who can’t seem to get referrals and they can’t quite figure out why.
Group B goes out of business, making it so Group A takes even more of the market share.
They are not being rewarded for good care.
What isn’t illegal: Hospitals preventing their patients from getting referred outside of their hospital system.
You might be saying, well isn’t this kind of the same thing, directing patients for economic interests rather than for the interest of the patient…
Hospitals call this “leakage” and prevent it by strongly encouraging the doctors to not refer out, or make the actual process so difficult that no doctor wants to do it.