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Study sheds light on benefits of disclosing docs' financial incentives to patients

Could releasing pay plan info build patient-practice relations? Disclosing your physician compensation methods to your patients via a simple letter may lead to better-informed and more loyal patients, according to a study in the March 27 Archives of Internal Medicine. During the managed-care backlash of the late 1990s, the public grew concerned that capitation reimbursement would cause conflicts of interest that could keep physicians from recommending necessary care. This concern spurred Steven D. Pearson, MD, MSc, the study's lead researcher and associate professor of ambulatory care and prevention at Harvard Medical School in Boston, to research the effects of disclosure.