Some would say that doctors, once licensed, aren't subject to lots of traditional regulation. A review of the Federal Register1 would in fact show that doctors face few explicit regulations governing:
• Patients they will and will not treat
• Therapies and protocols they use
• Where to administer treatment to their patients
• Whether and how to measure the results of their work
In many ways, however, doctors' choices on each of these four dimensions of practice are microscopically regulated—through the way they are paid for their services. Reimbursement has become the primary mechanism through which the regulation of doctors occurs in the United States.2 To the extent that doctors cannot afford to ...