Most Physicians Blame Others for Rising Healthcare Costs

Cheryl Clark, July 25, 2013

Almost half of the doctors surveyed by Mayo Clinic researchers acknowledge that they "try not to think about the cost to the healthcare system when making treatment decisions." More than half blame attorneys, health plans, and hospitals for growing costs.

More than half of practicing physicians say trial lawyers, insurers, drug and device makers, and hospitals bear a major responsibility for rising health costs, but only one third point to themselves as the primary driver of the problem, according to national survey by Mayo Clinic researchers.

Moreover, nearly one in three said they did not think that electronic health records shared a responsibility to reduce healthcare costs, one in four did not think expanding access to quality and safety data would bend the cost curve, and 65% said they did not think bundled or fixed payment models for managing population health would do the job, preferring to stick with fee for service.

"What they might be saying is that they don't think these are effective care improvement strategies, or they may be saying, 'it's the right thing to do, but don't expect it to save a heck of a lot of money,' " says Jon Tilburt, MD, the principal investigator of the report.

Three-fourths of the responders said they strongly agreed or moderately agreed with the statement, "I am aware of the costs of the tests/treatments I recommend." But one in four disagreed with that statement.  

And 42% strongly or moderately agreed with the statement that they "try not to think about the cost to the healthcare system when making treatment decisions.

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