Minimum Standards for Patient Recruitment
The ICMS believes that an informed patient has a right to access new and innovative treatment options. In consultation with a qualified physician, a patient must be empowered to make an informed healthcare decision.
One of the issues that could potentially interfere with a patient’s ability to make an informed healthcare decision is the use of (intended or unintended) recruitment practices by providers and third-party patient aggregation companies. While searching for treatment options, often times patients are presented with websites from companies whose business is to direct treatment candidates to clinics. Other times, patient may find websites that offer webinars and other information about specific conditions. At their best, these medical tourist groups serve an important role in helping to provide information and direction. At their worst, these businesses prey on the desperation of patients by making false, unsubstantiated and unverifiable claims of cures.
The ICMS acknowledges and embraces the potential benefit of patient taking an active role in seeking out potential treatment for chronic, degenerative and terminal diseases. As a professional medical society, we assert, in the strongest possible manner, that it is critical that all parties involved in the recruitment of patients do so with the highest possible standards of ethics, patient care and honesty
These minimum standards for patient recruitment are:
- Claims cannot be made that are untrue, unsubstantiated and/or intended to convey the safety or efficacy of any treatment,
- Patients need to be provided with a description of how the cells will be harvested, processed and implanted into the patient, an accurate estimate of the price for the treatment and qualifications of the physician providing the treatment,
- Patients need to be informed of the legal status of the treatment in the location where the treatment is being provided,
- Patients need to be given access, upon request, to a licensed medical professional employed by the clinic prior to being asked to sign any agreement or make any commitment to seeking treatment at said clinic,
- Patient’s cannot be informed that they are an approved candidate prior to an examination of the medical records of the patient and
- guarantees, implied or not, cannot be made for the outcome of any given procedure,
- Any claim of benefit is based upon currently accepted scientific and medical understanding,
- Patient testimonials are labeled as not indicative of all results,
- The use of actors in the portrayal of patients is forbidden,
- Any compensation provided to a patient for a testimonial is prominently noted, and
- Clinics cannot make false or misleading statements about the status of accreditation, compliance or certification from any oversight, regulatory or standards organization.