Our providers offer primary care and specialty services to fit all kinds of health needs.
As patients need to see specialists or seek care at a hospital, they can trust they are being referred to a quality partner who shares Centura Health mission of caring for the ill and nurturing the health of our community.
Our contemporary attitude toward such encounters is to label them, categorically, as "unprofessional conduct." Given that there is no surveillance of this behavior, physician-patient sex comes to the attention of regulatory agencies only when the patient complains. The nominal standard establishes a rule of "no overlap": a physician-patient relationship must not coexist with a romantic-sexual relationship.
Saving the network from "leakage" isn't worth the unpleasantness of participating in a sexual boundary suit.
Plans and physician groups should look at their internal norms and written policies, and consider how they'd respond to such scenarios, given current administrative standards.
Like the AMA, Colorado doesn't specify how long after a romantic relationship ceases a medical one might begin, stating only that they must not be "concurrent." Other states address — or do not address — this issue with varying degrees of explicitness.
Mental health professionals set even stricter standards.
So if our doctor starts "seeing" a local woman or man, he or she risks running afoul of the "no overlap" rule.
So, our doctor has the option of dating only residents of the next county or ordering a bride or groom by mail.
As a married couple, we both could be found guilty of unprofessional conduct by a fundamentalist reading of our state statute, on a strictly scriptural basis. There is a well-founded ethical and psychological basis for a general proscription of sex between doctors and patients.
Scurrilous cases do come before disciplinary boards, in which truly abusive or criminal conduct has occurred. But the absolute, literal terms in which these issues often are addressed don't always do justice to the range of behavior that I could accept as a member of the profession.
Centura Health Physician Group is a network of over 900 medical providers in more than 250 locations across Colorado and western Kansas.
Together, we connect people with the caregivers, tools and resources they need to live healthier lives.
In an effort to refine how the "no overlap" principle should be applied, I'd like to throw a small monkey wrench at this naively simplistic construct.