60.004 Freedom of Choice


Freedom of Choice: Free and open competition of physicians and free choice of physicians for the primary benefit of patients is a goal which public and private policy should support. Hospital governing bodies should (1) seek the advice and expert opinion of their hospital medical staffs in making policy decisions regarding medical coverage and privileges; and (2) honor the commitments expressed in adopted and approved medical staff bylaws when considering action to limit or restrict the patient’s free choice of physicians and the right of qualified physicians to diagnose and treat patients who seek their services utilizing all hospital facilities and equipment for which they are qualified.

A variety of health care delivery plans offers to patients the greatest freedom of choice and the best opportunity for further improvements in health care.

A patient should be free to select the physician, insurance company, or type of policies which he or she prefers. The physician, in turn, except in an emergency, is free to select the patients whom he or she will serve, to accept or not accept reimbursement from a third party, and to participate or not participate in any type of legal insurance contract.

Multiple systems of medical care delivery, such as fee-for-service and prepaid, and multiple kinds of insurance contracts (i.e., indemnity, service, or participating physician) are acceptable arrangements between physicians and third parties for delivery of and payment for medical services (Council on Socioeconomics, p 178, I-94; reaffirmed CSE Rep. 3-A-04; reaffirmed CSE Rep. 2-A-14).

Last Updated On

October 07, 2016