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Health Care Regulation in AmericaComplexity, Confrontation, and Compromise$
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Robert I. Field

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195159684

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195159684.001.0001

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Regulation of Physicians and Other Health Care Professionals

Regulation of Physicians and Other Health Care Professionals

(p.19) 2 Regulation of Physicians and Other Health Care Professionals
Health Care Regulation in America

Robert I. Field

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the regulatory structure for health care professionals with an emphasis on physicians. It traces the history of the formalization of the medical profession, initiated by the American Medical Association (AMA). This organization successfully induced every state to adopt a licensing process, and it standardized medical education based on the findings of the Flexner Report, issued in 1910. Regulation of the medical profession, including granting licenses to practice and imposing discipline, remains at the state level but with several federal and private organizations providing elements of national coordination. Oversight is also imposed by various other governmental and private bodies, including the federal Medicare program, specialty boards, health maintenance organizations, and hospitals. Similar regulatory arrangements govern osteopathic physicians and many allied health professions. The chapter concludes with a review of perennial policy conflicts, including that between licensure and consumer information as arbiters of professional quality.

Keywords:   physicians, licensure, certification, medical specialization, allied health professionals, managed care, American Medical Association, Flexner Report

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