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10 Statistics on Patient Medical Cost-Consciousness

Are patients becoming more cost-conscious?

Jackson Healthcare released the report "51 Statistics on How Income Impacts Physicians in 2014."

The report includes statistics on payer mix, healthcare reform and career outlook. The majority of physicians whose income decreased in the past year were more likely to say they won't remain in private practice because of overhead cost increases than those who experienced increased income.

Among physicians who had income decrease in the past year:

•    73 percent said their patients have become more cost-conscious over the past year
•    54 percent said their patients are doing more cost-comparative shopping for medical services
•    62 percent said their patients are delaying services, procedures and electives

Among physicians who saw their income increase over the past year:

•    62 percent say their patients have not been doing more cost-comparative shopping
•    51 percent say their patients have not delayed services, procedures or electives
•    41 percent said their patients have not become more cost-conscious over the past year

A majority of physicians still don't regularly discuss payment with their patients, despite more than half saying their patients are becoming more cost-conscious. According to the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2014:

•    32 percent of physicians regularly discuss the cost of treatment with their patients
•    40 percent occasionally discuss costs if the patients bring up the topic
•    11 percent never discuss  treatment costs with patients because they are unsure about the cost
•    5 percent don't feel it's appropriate to discuss cost with patients

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