Joe Davidson recently began a new job as the office manager for a prominent medical clinic. He has just received a bill from MedTestPros, one of the labs that perform tests for the clinic. In reviewing the bill, Joe notices that the lab has charged the clinic $25 for a complete blood count test. The clinic, however, bills patients or their insurance companies $90 for the test and that is the amount that most insurance companies will pay on the patient's behalf. Thus, the clinic is earning a $65 profit on each blood test it orders. After a bit more investigation, Joe finds similar profit margins on a number of other lab tests. He is concerned about the billing practice and suspects the clinic may have selected the lab based on its low cost rather than on the lab's qualifications and the accuracy of its test results. He also wonders if the tests' profit potential is driving doctors to order unnecessary tests.
Read Opinion 8.09 of the American Medical Association's Code of Medical Ethics (http:// www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/ opinion809.page?). Based on this opinion, do you believe that the clinic's billing for lab tests is an acceptable business practice? Discuss your reasoning.