Study at Johns Hopkins Shows Price Transparency Works: Physicians Order Fewer Clinical Pathology Laboratory Tests When They Know the Cost
Giving physicians Information on the price of medical laboratory tests at the time of order decreased overall use of such tests by about 9%, researchers said.
Physicians order fewer clinical laboratory tests when they know how much they cost, according to a recent study at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.Those findings are good news for hospital-based pathologists who must often respond to physicians who order expensive esoteric tests that are inappropriate for the patient’s condition or lack documentation as to clinical utility.
The study results show another dimension to the power of transparent pricing in healthcare because it demonstrates that physicians are willing to take cost into consideration when deciding what clinical laboratory tests they should order. Some experts believe that publishing price information on the costs of care empowers consumers to shop for the best price, thus helping to reduce the overall cost of healthcare.