Sunday, June 14, 2009

Doctors and the Costs of Care

A recent New Yorker article described a small border town in Texas with the most expensive healthcare in the United States. The author, Atul Gawande, investigated what led to such high costs in such an unlikely place. The answer was surprisingly simple: doctors in McAllen, Texas, have the most incentives to order unnecessary tests and treatments for their patients.

Unfortunately, researchers at Dartmouth have demonstrated that the problem in McAllen is pervasive throughout the country--a fact that has not escaped the Obama administration. In fact, Atul Gawande's article has become so influential, that the New York Times recently reported that it is now required reading in the White House.

These developments were followed by a New York Times editorial today that specifically advocates for the type of solution that our organization, Costs of Care, is trying to address.

We believe that cost-sensitive doctors are less likely to inflate medical bills with expensive and unnecessary tests. You can join our community of healthcare providers and patients interested in lowering costs at the point of care by becoming a fan on facebook.