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December 2013
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Study: Cancer Patients Reluctant To Ask About Costs of Treatments

If only. A new study finds that cancer patients are reluctant to ask about the costs of their treatment. Sadly, doctors aren’t really any better:

Although more than half the participants said they wanted to talk about cost with their physicians, only 19 percent had actually done so. Yet 57 percent of those who did broach the subject of financial problems felt that having the discussion helped decrease costs. More than 50 percent of the participants wanted their doctors to consider cost before recommending treatment. Those with the most “financial distress” were the most willing to discuss costs.

The study was scheduled for presentation this week at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago. Data and conclusions of studies presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Why the hesitancy to bring up money? “Our data found that patients who didn’t want to talk about costs wanted to be sure they got the best care regardless, which implies they feared that talking about money would get them less care,” Zafar said.

Cancer Patients Often Shy Away From Talking About Costs

Do you ask your doctor about the costs of your care? Tell us about it in our discussion forum!

Related posts:

  1. Are Patients the Problem with Health Care Costs?
  2. Recession Causing Cancer Patients to Quit Life-Extending Drugs
  3. Study: Big Employers Expect Health Insurance Costs to Go Up Next Year
  4. Cancer Patients Much More Likely to Declare Bankruptcy, Even When Insured
  5. Doctors Doing What They Can For Uninsured Patients

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