Thursday, 17 January 2013

Controversial Kidney-Dialysis Law Upheld

A law that has been around in Florida since 2002 was challenged in the court, and upheld. Florida doctors will continue to be barred from referring kidney-dialysis patients to labs in which the doctors have financial stakes.

The three-judge panel agreed with a lower court that, among other things, the law did not discriminate against Fresenius and Davita and didn’t violate their constitutional rights.

“Because it is reasonably conceivable that Florida ESRD (end-stage renal disease) patients would be better served if their physicians were prohibited from making self-referrals to associated laboratories, we conclude that the Florida act survives rational basis scrutiny and that the law does not deprive appellants (Fresenius and Davita) of their rights to substantive due process,” part of the ruling said.

It seems to me that if the doctors have to refer patients to a client that doesn't reward the doctor directly, then the doctor must be referring the patient to some other clinic. How does that go against Fresenius and Davita, who challenged the law?

If a doctor who has an interest in a DaVita clinic refers a patient to a Fresenius owned clinic, and vice versa, are they going to give a false report because the patient might end up in the other company's dialysis center? I wouldn't have thought so, it's more of a second opinion from someone who probably will have nothing to gain. So the two companies should stop complaining, IMHO.

You can more read about this here