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Should doctors consider the cost of treatment when they make medical decisions?




Dr. George Sawaya examines patient Susan Lehr at the UCSF Women's Health Center June 21, 2006 in San Francisco, California.
Dr. George Sawaya examines patient Susan Lehr at the UCSF Women's Health Center June 21, 2006 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Medical groups nationwide are beginning to consider the cost of treatment alongside effectiveness in making healthcare decisions. Though it’s controversial for doctors to broaden their roles beyond the realm of care, some see it as a necessity as healthcare costs rise.

The American College of Cardiology recently announced their intent to use cost data to rate the value of treatments, and across the country, taskforces are popping up to examine how to allocate resource and weigh cost as part of medical decisions.

Should doctors consider cost as part of medicine? As cost transparency becomes a larger part of healthcare, should primary caregivers be the ones to make financial recommendations, or should those decisions come from a separate group within a hospital or practice? Would you like your doctor to consider the cost of treatment?  

 

Guest:  

Dr. Paul Heidenreich, Chair of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Performance Measurement, professor at Stanford University School of Medicine,  co-chair of the writing committee for the cost methodology paper