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Survey assesses views of physicians regarding controlling health care costs
Date:7/29/2013

In a survey of about 2,500 U. S. physicians on their perceived role in addressing health care costs, they reported having some responsibility to address health care costs in their practice and expressed general agreement with quality initiatives that may also reduce cost, but expressed less enthusiasm for cost containment involving changes in payment models, according to a study in the July 24/31 issue of JAMA.

"The increasing cost of U.S. health care strains the economy. Because physicians' decisions play a key role in overall health care spending and quality, several recent initiatives have called on physicians to reduce waste and exercise wise stewardship of resources. Given their roles, physicians' perspectives on policies and strategies related to cost containment and their perceived responsibilities as stewards of health care resources in general are increasingly germane to recent pending and proposed policy reforms," according to background information in the article.

Jon C. Tilburt, M.D., M.P.H., of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and colleagues conducted a survey of physicians about their views on several potential proposed policies and strategies to contain health care spending, assessed physicians' perceived roles and responsibilities in addressing health care costs, and ascertained physician characteristics associated with those views. The survey was mailed in 2012 to 3,897 U.S. physicians randomly selected from the American Medical Association Masterfile. A total of 2,556 physicians responded (response rate = 65 percent). The survey included respondents rating their level of enthusiasm (not, somewhat, or very enthusiastic) toward 17 specific means of reducing health care costs, including but not limited to strategies proposed in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; and agreement with an 11-measure cost-consciousness scale.

The researchers found that most respondents believed that trial lawyers (60 p
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Contact: Shelly Plutowski
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
The JAMA Network Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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