Should Dr. Emanuel not have noted his relationship as White House advisor for health care policy and his relationship with his brother, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel? And should Ms. DeParle's disclosed her role as President Obama's so-called health czar with significant ties to private equity firms?
According to the Annals own Conflict of Interest Policy (emphasis mine):
Conflict of interest exists when an author, editor, or peer reviewer has a competing interest that could unduly influence (or be perceived to do so) his or her responsibilities in the publication process. The potential for an author’s conflict of interest exists when he or she (or the author’s institution or employer) has personal or financial relationships that could influence (bias) his or her actions. These relationships vary from those with negligible potential to influence judgment to those with great potential to influence judgment. Not all relationships represent true conflict of interest. Conflict of interest can exist whether or not an individual believes that the relationship affects his or her scientific judgment.Perhaps such disclosures only for the little people in health care who try to publish their work.
Authors, editors, and peer reviewers must state explicitly whether potential conflicts do or do not exist. Academic, financial, institutional, and personal relationships (such as employment, consultancies, close colleague or family ties, honoraria for advice or public speaking, service on advisory boards or medical education companies, stock ownership or options, paid expert testimony, grants or patents received or pending, and royalties) are potential conflicts of interest that could undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and science itself.
But we should ignore this editorial blunder, right? After all, the "Affordable" Care Act is our next great health care challenge ahead!
But the veiled threat in the opening paragraph of this work might not be the best way forward:
To realize the full benefits of the Affordable Care Act, physicians will need to embrace rather than resist change. The economic forces put in motion by the Act are likely to lead to vertical organization of providers and accelerate physician employment by hospitals and aggregation into larger physician groups. The most successful physicians will be those who most effectively collaborate with other providers to improve outcomes, care productivity, and patient experience.But one only has to read Sermo's message board (registration required) to get of flavor of what many doctors think about the law and this article in particular:
They ignored us the whole time they were putting this monstrosity together and ramming it through the legislative process. They got sham-"providers" in white coats for photo-ops so they could pretend we were on board. They got the AMA to play ball, knowing that the public perception would be that we were on board. In short, they were soooooo sure they didn't need us.The reality on the ground is that the law has passed and change is coming. The reality on the ground is physicians continue to see significant cuts to their profits. The reality on the ground is the physician pay fix remains unresolved and will be expensive. And the reality on the ground is doctors provide the care and the administration needs doctors to facilitate the implementation of the many health care changes that lie ahead.
And now they're in a predicament with their white elephant, and begging us for some support after the deed's been done.
Edicts are not away to lead health care reform. Unless and until doctors feel there is meaningful collaboration between the bureaucratic powers responsible for the Affordable Care Act that shares mutually agreeable goals, there will continue to be even bigger conflicts with doctors that will make moving this legislation forward challenging.
Ref: The Reuter's news release.