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V. How to Successfully Make Cost-of-care Conversations a Normal Part of the Clinical Encounter

Primary sources: University of Rochester Medical Center, University of Southern Maine Consumers Union

“We need to systematically screen for cost issues just like providers screen for depression,” Physician, University of Rochester Medical Center study

Key Takeaways

  • Patients do not always feel comfortable discussing costs-of-care with their physicians.
  • Physicians and health care providers can help overcome this barrier and increase patient comfort by routinely asking patients about their financial concerns during clinical encounters
  • There are tools and tactics that can help make cost-of-care conversations a normal part of practice. These include:
    • Using standardized financial burden questions with all patients
    • Implementing universal cost-of-care conversation triggers
    • Developing materials for patients about costs-of-care and using these to discuss financial concerns during the clinical encounter