Decision Making and Cost in Healthcare: The Patient Perspective


Unsustainable spending and unsatisfactory outcomes have prompted a reanalysis of healthcare policy towards value. Several strategies have been proposed as part of this effort including cost sharing plans to shift costs to patients and gain-sharing models to shift risk to health systems. The patient perspective is rarely elicited in policy formation despite efforts to increase patient-centered care. We conducted a prospective study of 118 patients presenting to hand clinic to assess patient perspective of who should constrain treatment options (patient, physician, insurance company, hospital) and be responsible for costs in scenarios of clinical equipoise. We found that patients believed that insurance companies and hospitals should not constrain which treatment options are available to a patient and that physicians and patients should together influence the availability of treatment options. Patients were willing to cost share with insurance companies when choosing more expensive treatments or in the setting of non-life-threatening diseases. In addressing rising healthcare costs, patient perspectives can inform policies designed to increase value. Asking patients to cost share when choosing a more expensive treatment option in the setting of clinical equipoise could be a strategy for health systems to increase value. Level of Evidence: III (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 32(1):023–027, 2023)

Key words: hand surgery, quality, value, variation in healthcare

SKU: JSOA-2023-32-1-4 Categories: , Tags: , , ,

Sarah E. Lindsay, MD; Aaron Alokozai, MD; Sara L. Eppler, MPH; Jeffrey Yao, MD; Arden Morris, MD, MPH; and Robin N. Kamal, MD, MBA, MS