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Doctors know little about consumer-directed health plans

HealthDay/Washington Post, October 8, 2008

Few doctors are adequately prepared to help patients navigate "consumer-directed" health plans, according to a survey. The plans are meant to shift more responsibility for healthcare decisions to the individual patient, and often come with high deductibles and include a health savings account. But 43% of doctors surveyed said they have heard little, if anything, about these plans, and less than half feel ready to discuss medical budgeting with their patients. "I think as these plans roll out, it's really important to educate doctors about (them) and about some of the differences between these plans and more traditional models of insurance," said study co-author Dr. Craig Pollack, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation clinical scholar at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.