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Professor Barry Furrow Discusses So-Called Doctor-Patient Agreements Aimed at Censuring Online Reviews

September 14, 2012

On CBS Philly affiliate KYW radio, Professor Barry Furrow discussed doctor-patient contracts aimed at stopping negative patient commentary on online review sites like

These so-called doctor-patient contracts, surreptitiously given to patients with other forms during the intake process, serve as "an extremely broad and crude attempt to scare the patient into not commenting," Furrow said. He added that the forms violate "your privacy rights and your basic right to comment, which is all a part of patient shopping under the Affordable Care Act."

Ultimately, such agreements are unenforceable and, at best, allow doctors to send patients a threatening letter if a patient violates the terms of the agreement, Furrow commented.  However, if a doctor were foolish enough to take such action, it would likely backfire on him or her and result in the patient not returning to the doctor's office in the future, Furrow concluded. 

In a related article, 3L Erica Cohen, who is a weekly contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer's 'Check Up' blog, also discussed some doctors' use of Medical Justice, a company which "offers proactive services that protect physicians' reputations," to censure negative reviews of doctors.