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Physicians Favor Patient Involvement in Decision Making, But Cite Barriers Such as Time and Money
Date:3/19/2009

Reform movement could break down barriers and reduce over-treatment and waste in system

BOSTON, March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Most primary care physicians would like their patients to be better informed about their medications, the tests they undergo, the lifestyle changes that would improve their health, and the surgery options they are offered. The majority also favor shared medical decision-making, whereby doctors and patients work together to make decisions. However, they cite too little time and an unsympathetic reimbursement structure as major barriers to routinely involving and informing their patients in medical decisions, according to the largest national survey to date on physicians' attitudes about shared decision-making. Survey results of over 400 physicians, conducted by Lake Research Partners for the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, were published in a white paper released March 19, 2009 to government, health policy, and consumer advocacy leaders.

"Our hope is that this timely report will encourage health reform advocates and leaders to keep the needs of patients and the concerns of physicians on this issue at the forefront as they design improvements to the infrastructure of our health care system," says Floyd J. Fowler, president of the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making.

The Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making believes that informed decision-making is a patient's right and if patients are fully supported in exercising that right, health care costs and over-treatment will decline, while care will be more in line with what patients value.

"To truly transform our health care delivery system into one centered on the patient, we need to develop better tools and approaches to help patients make decisions about their care," says Debra L. Ness, President of the National Partnership for Women & Families. "When patients are given accurat
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SOURCE Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making
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