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Am Surg. 2018 Sep 1;84(9):1410-1414.

Attitudes and Beliefs of Pediatric Surgical Specialists on Costs of Care and High Deductible Health Plans.

Abstract

Health care consumers are burdened with rising out-of-pocket medical expenses. Surgical specialists' experience and attitude towards patients' out-of-pocket costs and the influence of these factors on healthcare utilization are unknown. Our aim was to define the pediatric surgeons' experience with the financial concerns of their patients. Members from the American Academy of Pediatrics Sections on Plastic Surgery, Surgery and Urology were surveyed. Analysis of variance was used to investigate practice differences. Two hundred and eighteen out of 973 surgeons representing 38 states completed the survey. Nearly half of the surveyed surgeons did not know if cost was a determinant for their patients' choice in surgical facility, or if parents compared costs prior to the visit. Eighty four per cent of the surgeons would consider patient costs if medically appropriate, to entertain less costly alternatives, and adjust surgical scheduling to decrease economic burden. Most pediatric surgical specialists are unaware if out-of-pocket costs influenced patients' preoperative decisions. Nonetheless, they are sympathetic to the issue. As the financial burden of health care shifts to consumers, our survey indicates that surgeons are open to candid discussion surrounding finances and may alter recommendations accordingly if appropriate.

PMID:
30268167
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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