• By Dana Sparks

U.S. Physicians Put Patients' Best Interests Above Concerns About Health Care Costs

July 22, 2013

A new study of attitudes about health care costs reveals that an overwhelming majority of U.S. physicians feel a responsibility to address costs, but prioritize their obligations to patients’ best interests over cost concerns. Results of the random survey of 2,500 U.S. physicians are published in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Lead author Jon Tilburt, M.D., says,“Physicians feel stuck in a difficult position. Despite their sense of responsibility to address health care costs, physicians consistently express a commitment to the best interests of patients even when it is expensive.” Dr. Tilburt is with Mayo Clinic’s Biomedical Ethics Program and Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery.

Survey highlights include:
• The vast majority (85 percent) agreed that “trying to contain costs is the responsibility of every physician.”
• Most (76 percent) reported being aware of the costs of tests or treatments they recommend.
• Nearly 80 percent endorsed prioritizing patients’ best interests over issues of cost.

Click here for news release

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Tilburt and b-roll of him in his office are available in the downloads

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