Study Of Physician And Patient Communication Identifies Missed Opportunities To Help Reduce Patients' Out-Of-Pocket Spending.

Published

Journal Article

Some experts contend that requiring patients to pay out of pocket for a portion of their care will bring consumer discipline to health care markets. But are physicians prepared to help patients factor out-of-pocket expenses into medical decisions? In this qualitative study of audiorecorded clinical encounters, we identified physician behaviors that stand in the way of helping patients navigate out-of-pocket spending. Some behaviors reflected a failure to fully engage with patients' financial concerns, from never acknowledging such concerns to dismissing them too quickly. Other behaviors reflected a failure to resolve uncertainty about out-of-pocket expenses or reliance on temporary solutions without making long-term plans to reduce spending. Many of these failures resulted from systemic barriers to health care spending conversations, such as a lack of price transparency. For consumer health care markets to work as intended, physicians need to be prepared to help patients navigate out-of-pocket expenses when financial concerns arise during clinical encounters.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ubel, PA; Zhang, CJ; Hesson, A; Davis, JK; Kirby, C; Barnett, J; Hunter, WG

Published Date

  • April 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 654 - 661

PubMed ID

  • 27044966

Pubmed Central ID

  • 27044966

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1544-5208

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0278-2715

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1280

Language

  • eng