Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cost to patients barrier to counseling for obesity and smoking

Date:
February 2, 2010
Source:
Elsevier Health Sciences
Summary:
Researchers found that when primary care clinicians and community counselors collaborated to offer free counseling services to patients, there was an overwhelming positive response. Yet, when the same services were offered at a cost to the patient, there was a significant drop in participation.

Reducing obesity and smoking have become national priorities in the United States. Research has shown that intensive counseling can positively impact each problem. However, because such counseling is typically not covered by medical insurance, cost can be a barrier. In a study published in the March 2010 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, found that when primary care clinicians and community counselors collaborated to offer free counseling services to patients, there was an overwhelming positive response. Yet, when the same services were offered at a cost to the patient, there was a significant drop in participation.

An electronic linkage system (eLinkS) was used to prompt healthcare providers to suggest intensive healthcare counseling for adult patients with unhealthy behaviors. eLinkS then helped to facilitate and automate referrals and communication between primary care practices and community programs. During a 5-week period when funding was available, 5679 patients were evaluated, 1860 had at least one unhealthy behavior (triggering an eLinkS prompt), and 407 (21.8%) were referred for intensive counseling.

In a 3-week period after funding was exhausted, 2510 patients visited the practices, 729 triggered an eLinkS prompt, but only 5 (0.7%) were referred for intensive counseling. Compared to the coverage period, the overall referral rate for patients with an unhealthy behavior decreased by 97%. Practice nurses asked 22% fewer patients about health behaviors (37% vs 29%). When prompted by eLinkS, clinicians offered referrals to 79% fewer patients (29% vs 6%). If a referral was offered, 81% fewer patients accepted (76% vs 14%).

Patients confirmed that costs introduced a barrier to counseling. Some patients were explicit that charges would prevent participation while others who had deferred counseling in the past were motivated to enroll because it was free. Clinicians reported that removing cost as an impediment, combined with an easy means to refer patients, allowed patient discussions to focus on behavior change. The heightened patient interest reversed when charges were reinstituted. Fewer successes also diminished motivation for the counselors.

Alex H. Krist MD, MPH, Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Family Medicine, and his co-investigators comment, "Our quantitative and qualitative data underscore that clinicians, not just patients, are influenced by costs. Despite prompts, nurses were less likely to record patients' BMI and smoking status during the no-coverage period, triggering fewer eLinkS prompts. Clinicians were also less likely to discuss health behaviors with patients. However, even when clinicians did offer a referral, 81% fewer patients accepted. …This study indicates that policymakers and payers should support clinical-community partnerships and eliminate cost as a barrier to intensive smoking cessation and weight loss counseling. Modifying health behaviors is daunting enough for patients and clinicians -- cost can be the tipping point in their decision to forego the effort."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alex H Krist et al. Patient Costs As a Barrier to Intensive Health Behavior Counseling. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 38, Issue 3 (March 2010)

Cite This Page:

Elsevier Health Sciences. "Cost to patients barrier to counseling for obesity and smoking." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100202082901.htm>.
Elsevier Health Sciences. (2010, February 2). Cost to patients barrier to counseling for obesity and smoking. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100202082901.htm
Elsevier Health Sciences. "Cost to patients barrier to counseling for obesity and smoking." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100202082901.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Cardiac experts are testing a new experimental device designed to eliminate major surgery and still keep the heart on track. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Cancer: Rebuilding Breasts With Fat

After Cancer: Rebuilding Breasts With Fat

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) More than 269 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Many of them will need surgery and radiation, but there’s a new simple way to reconstruct tissue using a patient’s own fat. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood Clots in Kids

Blood Clots in Kids

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Every year, up to 200,000 Americans die from a blood clot that travels to their lungs. You’ve heard about clots in adults, but new research shows kids can get them too. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Radio Waves Knock out Knee Pain

Radio Waves Knock out Knee Pain

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Doctors have used radio frequency ablation or RFA to reduce neck and back pain for years. But now, that same technique is providing longer-term relief for patients with severe knee pain. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins