Should an academic radiation oncologist be allowed to "opt out" of medicare?

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Federal law permits physicians to "opt out" of Medicare. When a radiation oncologist chooses this option, he or she may neither bill nor collect from Medicare, but may legally attempt to charge and collect what he or she considers the value of services provided to Medicare-eligible patients. Many academic faculty practice plans permit members to opt out. Even if it is permissible for a radiation oncologist to opt out of Medicare, is it appropriate? The question raises significant ethical and economic issues as one attempts to balance the good of the individual faculty member against the good of the clinical faculty as a whole. In this commentary, the authors offer the principal arguments in favor of and against permitting a faculty radiation oncologist to opt out. They conclude by recommending broad faculty oversight over such decisions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Halperin, EC; Fulkerson, WJ; Kaufman, R; Newman, P; Stiles, GL

Published Date

  • October 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 841 - 845

PubMed ID

  • 17411944

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1558-349X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jacr.2005.03.009


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States