Consumers' perceptions of medical prices can be faulty

Despite advocates' push for more transparency in medical pricing, consumers may draw the wrong message when they know what a health service or good costs.

Kaiser Health News: Consumers May Draw Wrong Conclusions From Medical Prices
Some health policy experts and consumer advocates are pushing for greater transparency in the pricing of medical good and services. If consumers know the price of an item, so the thinking goes, they'll make smarter decisions about whether they need it. But a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research suggests that consumers' perceptions of prices could lead them to the wrong conclusions (Kulkarni, 1/3).

Meanwhile, another study looks at financial incentives for oncologists --

Medscape: A Call To Eliminate 'Chemotherapy Concession'
A new study confirms that financial incentives exist for some US oncologists in the prescribing of chemotherapy and growth factors for treatment-related anemia. These potential "inducements" are not widespread, existing for only about 25% of 480 medical oncologists surveyed, and who are mostly among fee-for-service clinicians or those with financial incentives in their salary structure, found the authors, who were led by Jennifer Malin, MD, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles. ... Such financial incentives need to be "decreased" because they may be contributing to rising cancer costs, Dr. Malin and colleagues explain (Mulcahy, 1/2).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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