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New York Times piece by Dr Peter Ubel argues that we should be upfront, and cost must be discussed, like any label or side effect of a procedure or medication.

Do you share data on costs with patients, on discharge?
Or when making a medication change?

Neel Shah
Replied at 6:12 PM, 5 Nov 2013

It seems that e-prescribing has made it easier to understand formularies and choose affordable (routine) medications in the outpatient setting, but we have a long way to go in order to provide transparent pricing information to patients in other dimensions (diagnostic testing, procedures, etc.)

70% of physicians either moderately or strongly agree that decision-support tools that show costs would be helpful for their practice (Tilburt et al, JAMA 2013 - table 4)

John Hixson
Replied at 1:40 PM, 6 Nov 2013

Agree completely, and I do increasingly discuss cost ramifications (along with potential benefit of course) with my patients. The biggest barrier is probably the massive cultural shift this will require, but I would also point out that most physicians aren't even aware of the costs. I do believe that pricing transparency includes educating the Dr. Shah referencs above.

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