How long before Commissioner Selig's term expires?
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Tuesday, May 18, 2004

New Sports Trend: The Team Doctors Now Pay the Team

In a long New York Times article, Bill Pennington reports:

Despite concerns among many doctors and the players' unions over the ethics of putting health care out to bid, about half the teams in the four major North American professional sports are now tied contractually to a medical institution. Industry analysts expect that number to grow significantly.
The teams like the money, and the hospitals like people to think that the teams reviewed all the local medical options before settling on their facilities as the best local option. Medical associations, and players' associations, hate the deals.

"These groups should have to put out a disclaimer: `We paid for the ability to treat these top athletes,' " said Dr. Robert Huizenga, a former team doctor for the Oakland Raiders and past president of the National Football League Team Physicians Society. "What's it say about our profession when the most high-profile jobs are awarded not by merit, but by auction?"

"These arrangements suggest the medical care is not based on a person's expertise but on the depth of his pockets," said Gene Orza, the chief operating officer of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

"Our players do not like this trend in medical-care agreements one bit."
I suspect Mike Colbern will have a few things to say about this, too...

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