Cost awareness when prescribing treatment

Racheli Magnezi, Lilach Elzam, Yaniv Kliker, Ron Kedem, Gil Fire, Rachel Wilf-Miron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim: Healthcare organisations are constantly faced with the need to contain medical costs. Healthcare institutions expect practitioners to keep costs low, while providing patients with the best possible medical care. This study examines the attitudes of doctors to considering costs, while prescribing medical tests and treatment. Methods: Investigators submitted a 55-item questionnaire to 200 primary care practitioners in health maintenance organisations in Israel, in which 14 questions addressed practitioners' attitudes to cost considerations. Results: Attitudes to cost containment depended on practitioners' awareness of costs, whether they were internists or family practitioners, and whether they participated in seminars on healthcare costs. Seniority had no bearing on attitude. Practitioners born in the former USSR knew more about the costs of inpatient hospital stay, whereas Israeli-born physicians were more aware of the costs of emergency room visits. Family practitioners, interns, and gynaecologists were equally aware of the costs of medications. Practitioners in administrative roles, unlike those who were not, thought that financial considerations are detrimental to a patient's health. Conclusions: Further education by the healthcare organisation would keep practitioners updated on medical advances, and familiarise them with unique contracts and costs. This would enable practitioners to feel more involved, and to understand the necessary economic considerations relevant to treating illnesses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-70
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Health Care Management
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes

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