Patients are paying more for their own healthcare costs than ever, and unfortunately, this has resulted in them skimping on both preventive care and necessary services. However, a recent study has shown that doctors can increase healthcare affordability and health outcomes by discussing patients’ concerns about costs.
Researchers analyzed the transcriptions from about 2,000 doctor-patient conversations regarding treatments for breast cancer, depression, and rheumatoid arthritis. They noted that doctors often dismissed patients’ financial concerns, either by only half-acknowledging them or ignoring them completely. The concern is that patients may stop taking medications – or take them infrequently – if more cost conversations do not take place.
These findings were published in Health Affairs on April 4, 2016.