Monopolies, Self-Referral and Shell Games: The Need for Antitrust Investigation of Physician Health Programs and their “PHP-Approved” Assessment and Treatment Centers

Michael Langan, MD has accurately pinpointed one of the central problems with PHPs and their exclusive arrangements with “preferred” evaluation and treatment centers. These centers naturally have a bias – there is an economic self-interest to keep the PHP referrals flowing. If PHP says its severe alcoholism, then that’s what it is. And if you don’t agree with it, then you’re just “in denial.” Anybody have a problem with this?

Disrupted Physician

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Three shells and a pea–ASAM, FSPHP, and LMD.

“PHP-Approved” Assessment and Treatment Centers

On the above list  can be found the Medical Directors of a number of drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities.  I did not make up this list.  An updated version can be seen right here on the “like-minded doc” website.

Talbott, Marworth, Hazelden, Promises, and another two-dozen or so “PHP-approved”  assessment and treatment centers are represented on this list.    State Physician Health Programs (PHPs) refer doctors to these facilities for evaluations.  PHPs are non-profit tax-exempt organizations.  They do not evaluate or treat patients.   If a physician is referred to a PHP for a suspected problem the assessment must be done at an outside facility which will invariably be linked to a name on the list of Like-Minded Docs.

What most people do not know, however, is that this is an exclusive arrangement.    Evaluations are constrained to one of these facilities…

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