The Corporate Practice of Medicine (CPOM) is a well-established, and unfortunately, growing problem here in Michigan and across the country.
Michigan, like many other states, has a CPOM doctrine specifically intended to protect the public by prohibiting unlicensed, for-profit businesses from practicing medicine here in our state. The problem is these laws are poorly enforced, and as a result, for-profit entities have taken advantage. Through a series of deceptive legal loopholes and shell corporations, equity investors are increasingly circumventing Michigan law and putting the health and well-being of Michigan’s patients in jeopardy in the process.
It’s a practice that must come to a stop. And in an effort to help facilitate its cessation, the Michigan State Medical Society has written Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel requesting a formal investigation into what we believe are widespread violations of Michigan’s prohibition on CPOM. (Read the full letter here.) We are not alone in these concerns. Also signing the letter were the Michigan College of Emergency Physicians, Michigan Dermatological Society, Michigan Orthopaedic Society, Michigan Radiological Society, Michigan Society of Hematology & Oncology, and Michigan Society of Anesthesiologists.
In making our request, MSMS referenced the growing research on this vital issue and related abuses both nationally and here in Michigan, with mounting evidence clearly indicating that CPOM only results in high costs, harm to patients and physicians, and a weakened health care system.
As a medical society, we remain committed to the belief that financial motives should never supersede a physician’s autonomy to make life saving medical decisions in the best interest of the patient. Thankfully, there some are legal tools in place to protect practitioners and patients from a health care system that puts profits above patient care, but they must be enforced. Our hope is that the Attorney General and her department will take the appropriate legal steps in response to our request for an investigation and immediately seek to enforce Michigan’s CPOM Doctrine.
Tom M. George, MD
Chief Executive Officer, MSMS