Tag Archives: medical decision making

If Costs Are Unknown, Can Doctors Still Talk About Them?

I have been writing a bit lately on the need for healthcare providers to talk with their patients about healthcare costs, if for no other reason than to enable patients to determine whether they can afford to pay for the healthcare that … Continue reading

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Unnecessary Mastectomies Following Breast Cancer Diagnoses?

I spoke the other day to Melissa Dahl, a writer for New York Magazine. She wrote a really nice piece on what medical professionals call “contralateral prophylactic mastectomy” – when a woman with breast cancer chooses not only to remove … Continue reading

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Want narcotics just ask for them?

A very disturbing new study was just published, in which physicians viewed a video of a patient with back pain asking for OxyContin. Twenty percent of docs said they would prescribe that med under that circumstance: …Too often, doctors prescribe … Continue reading

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Are You Getting Too Much Medical Care?

This summer I had the pleasure of speaking with a very intelligent journalist, who was working on an article about overtreatment in medical care. That article has just come out, and I thought I would give you a sample of … Continue reading

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Doctor, First Tell Me What It Costs

If an antibiotic would cure your infection, your doctor would probably still warn you about the chance of sun sensitivity before prescribing the pill. But even when the costs of a medical intervention might force patients to choose between paying the bill … Continue reading

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On the Undertreatment and Overtreatment of Strokes

In research I have had the pleasure of conducting with Darin Zahurenic, we are starting to find concerning data about the variability in how neurologists and neurosurgeons treat people who have strokes caused by bleeding in their brains – or … Continue reading

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Toxic Side Effect: High Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs

When is the treatment worse than the disease? When the high costs associated with care become a financial burden for patients and in many cases prevent them from protecting their health, contends Peter Ubel, MD, a 2007 recipient of a … Continue reading

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Doctors Urged to Talk About Costs of Treatment

Physicians need to broach discussions about out-of-pocket costs with patients the same way they discuss a treatment’s side effects, public policy professors wrote. “Admittedly, out-of-pocket costs are difficult to predict, but so are many medical outcomes that are nevertheless included … Continue reading

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Full Disclosure: Out-of-Pocket Costs As Treatment Side Effects

Here is a link to an article I co-authored in the New England Journal this week, with Yousuf Zafar and Amy Abernethy. In the article, we urge physicians to talk about out-of-pocket costs with patients, given that these costs can … Continue reading

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Why Poor People Like Hospitals

Healthcare markets are complex and confusing places.  But one fact is simple and straightforward:  all else equal, hospitals and emergency departments are a lot more expensive than outpatient clinics.  Which makes it all the more bewildering that so many low … Continue reading

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