Controlling Health Care Costs

As changes to the U.S. health care system are debated it’s clear that controlling the cost of health care remains a major factor. A new study surveyed U.S. physicians about how they see their role and responsibilities in helping to control costs while continuing to improve and provide quality health care for their patients. “Their main job is to do the right thing for patients and they don’t see any conflict between the idea of upholding the best interest of the patient and shaving off some of the marginally beneficial and wasteful care.” Dr. Jon Tilburt and co-authors surveyed a random sample of U.S. physicians. 75 to 80% see themselves as playing some role in controlling costs along with insurance companies, malpractice lawyers, medical device and pharmaceutical companies and patients. “Physicians are most enthusiastic for improving quality and evidence being used in clinical decision making. They’re not so enthusiastic about changing how care gets paid for including, bundled reimbursement, cuts to Medicare or getting rid of fee-for-service medicine.” The study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.