Cancer. 2017 May 15;123(6):928-939. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30423. Epub 2016 Nov 28.
A review of cost communication in oncology: Patient attitude, provider acceptance, and outcome assessment.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology released its first guidance statement on the cost of cancer care in August 2009, affirming that patient-physician cost communication is a critical component of high-quality care. This forward-thinking recommendation has grown increasingly important in oncology practice today as the high costs of cancer care impose tremendous financial burden to patients, their families, and the health care system. For the current review, a literature search was conducted using the PubMed and Web of Science databases to identify articles that covered 3 topics related to patient-physician cost communication: patient attitude, physician acceptance, and the associated outcomes; and 15 articles from 12 distinct studies were identified. Although most articles that addressed patient attitude suggested that cost communication is desired by >50% of patients in the respective study cohorts, only <33% of patients in those studies had actually discussed costs with their physicians. The literature on physician acceptance indicated that, although 75% of physicians considered discussions of out-of-pocket costs with patients their responsibility, <30% felt comfortable with such communication. When asked about whether cost communication actually took place in their practice, percentages reported by physicians varied widely from <10% to >60%. The data suggested that cost communication was associated with improved patient satisfaction, lower out-of-pocket expenses, and a higher likelihood of medication nonadherence; none of the studies established causality. Both patients and physicians expressed a strong need for accurate, accessible, and transparent information about the cost of cancer care. Cancer 2017;123:928-39.
© 2016 American Cancer Society.
cost transparency; outcomes; patient attitudes; patient-physician cost communication; physician acceptance