Saturday, January 17, 2009

Conflict of Interest: Applies or not?

Here's a NYT editorial that deals with an issue that is, in my view, relevant to Amazon's running a reviews system reviewing what Amazon sells.
... New York State’s attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, and UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, have agreed to set up a new system for calculating out-of-network payments. [...] Typically, when patients use non-network doctors, their insurance company agrees to pay 70 percent to 80 percent of the “reasonable and customary” charges [...] That calculation for most of the industry is made by a company called Ingenix, which conveniently is owned by UnitedHealth. [...] UnitedHealth neither admits nor denies any wrongdoing, but the company does acknowledge the inherent conflict of interest [...] UnitedHealth is planning to close its Ingenix databases and shift responsibility to an independent nonprofit organization ...
Check it out.

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