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J Gen Intern Med. 2018 Aug;33(8):1268-1275. doi: 10.1007/s11606-018-4495-6. Epub 2018 May 29.

Impact of Cost Display on Ordering Patterns for Hospital Laboratory and Imaging Services.

Author information

1
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. mark.silvestri@yale.edu.
2
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. mark.silvestri@yale.edu.
3
Cornell Scott Hill Health Center, New Haven, CT, USA. mark.silvestri@yale.edu.
4
, Trumbull, USA. mark.silvestri@yale.edu.
5
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
6
Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
7
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
8
Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
9
Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
10
Department of Emergency Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
11
Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA.
12
Zearn Math, New York, NY, USA.
13
Yale Center for Analytical Sciences, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Physicians "purchase" many health care services on behalf of patients yet remain largely unaware of the costs of these services. Electronic health record (EHR) cost displays may facilitate cost-conscious ordering of health services.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether displaying hospital lab and imaging order costs is associated with changes in the number and costs of orders placed.

DESIGN:

Quasi-experimental study.

PARTICIPANTS:

All patients with inpatient or observation encounters across a multi-site health system from April 2013 to October 2015.

INTERVENTION:

Display of order costs, based on Medicare fee schedules, in the EHR for 1032 lab tests and 1329 imaging tests.

MAIN MEASURES:

Outcomes for both lab and imaging orders were (1) whether an order was placed during a hospital encounter, (2) whether an order was placed on a given patient-day, (3) number of orders placed per patient-day, and (4) cost of orders placed per patient-day.

KEY RESULTS:

During the lab and imaging study periods, there were 248,214 and 258,267 encounters, respectively. Cost display implementation was associated with a decreased odds of any lab or imaging being ordered during the encounter (lab adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.97, p = .01; imaging AOR = 0.97, p < .001), a decreased odds of any lab or imaging being ordered on a given patient-day (lab AOR = 0.95, p < .001; imaging AOR = 0.97, p < .001), a decreased number of lab or imaging orders on patient-days with orders (lab adjusted count ratio = 0.93, p < .001; imaging adjusted count ratio = 0.98, p < .001), and a decreased cost of lab orders and increased cost of imaging orders on patient-days with orders (lab adjusted cost ratio = 0.93, p < .001; imaging adjusted cost ratio = 1.02, p = .003). Overall, the intervention was associated with an 8.5 and 1.7% reduction in lab and imaging costs per patient-day, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Displaying costs within EHR ordering screens was associated with decreases in the number and costs of lab and imaging orders.

KEYWORDS:

cost display; electronic health record; physician ordering patterns

PMID:
29845468
PMCID:
PMC6082197
[Available on 2019-08-01]
DOI:
10.1007/s11606-018-4495-6

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