The Permanente Medical Group of the Kaiser Permanente health plan organization, which operates in nine states and Washington, D.C., recently updated its conflict-of-interest policy for its more than 5,000 Northern California physicians to make it much stricter. Basically, these docs cannot accept any gifts. “If you look at the AMA guidelines for interactions with physicians, or the AdvaMed Code, they say the physician should take nothing of a value greater than $100,” says Sharon Levine, ...

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