U. S. Healthcare, Inc. said it removed controversial provisions from its physician contracts that have prompted doctors to complain that they are hampered in treating patients.
Called "gag clauses" by critics, they are common in contracts of many managedcare companies. Doctors charge that such clauses prevent them from giving patients complete information about treatment options, for instance, or that they are forbidden from telling patients that health maintenance organization (HMO) financial arrangements may penalize doctors for making referrals to specialists.
HMOs counter that some doctors have waged campaigns against managed care with their patients, and that such clauses are intended to prevent such campaigns and any anxiety among patients about their care that may result.
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