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Teaching physicians the price of care

New York Times, May 4, 2010

Doctors in training have traditionally been insulated from information about the cost of the tests and treatments they order for patients. During four years of medical school, students learn to order tests and treatments based on their knowledge of diseases and of scientific evidence. Until recently, most schools included little information on financial factors, like how the insurance system works and how treatment costs affect patients' behavior. As a result, most physicians enter practice with little sense of how to make the most cost-effective choices for patients, or how their own decisions affect medical bills, writes Susie Okie in this article published by the New York Times.