Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study shows displaying lab costs upfront can save money

Date:
November 21, 2013
Source:
Springer
Summary:
Health care costs continue to go up, and physicians control more than 80 percent of those costs. Could providing physicians with real-time information about the cost of what they order help to restrain excessive testing?

Including real-time cost of lab tests in electronic health system could make physicians think twice before ordering them.

Related Articles


Health care costs continue to go up, and physicians control more than 80 percent of those costs. Could providing physicians with real-time information about the cost of what they order help to restrain excessive testing? This is the question addressed in an articleΉ in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, published by Springer. The research project was led by Daniel Horn of the Massachusetts General Hospital's Division of General Medicine in the US, and is among the first to focus on the impact that the passive display of real-time laboratory costs can have within a primary care, non-academic setting.

The study was conducted among 215 primary care physicians working in Atrius Health, an alliance of six non-profit medical groups, and a home health and hospice agency in Massachusetts, where an integrated electronic health record system is used. Physicians in the intervention group received real-time information on laboratory costs for 27 individual tests when they placed their electronic orders, while the control group did not. Changes in the monthly laboratory ordering rate between the intervention and control groups were compared for 12 months before and six months after the intervention started. Six months after the intervention, all physicians taking part in the study were also asked to assess their attitudes regarding costs and cost displays.

The researchers found a significant decrease in the ordering rates of both high and low cost range tests by physicians to whom the costs of the tests were displayed electronically in real-time. This included a significant relative decrease in ordering rates for four of the 21 lower cost laboratory tests, and one of six higher cost laboratory tests.

In addition, physicians were generally very receptive to the intervention. A majority (81 percent) reported that the exercise increased their knowledge regarding costs of care and requesting real-time cost information on an expanded set of health care services.

"Our study demonstrates that electronic health records can serve as a tool to promote cost transparency, educate physicians and reduce the use of potentially unnecessary laboratory tests by integrating the relative cost of care into providers' decision-making processes," writes Thomas D. Sequist, MD, MPH, of Atrius Health, the senior author on the study who believes that reducing overuse of unnecessary health care services such as laboratory testing is important in controlling the rising costs in the US health care system. "It's like putting price labels on goods you buy in the supermarket. When you know the prices, you tend to buy more strategically."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel M. Horn, Kate E. Koplan, Margaret D. Senese, E. John Orav, Thomas D. Sequist. The Impact of Cost Displays on Primary Care Physician Laboratory Test Ordering. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s11606-013-2672-1

Cite This Page:

Springer. "Study shows displaying lab costs upfront can save money." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121111851.htm>.
Springer. (2013, November 21). Study shows displaying lab costs upfront can save money. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121111851.htm
Springer. "Study shows displaying lab costs upfront can save money." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121111851.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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