KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Studies Find Patients Often Choose Higher Cost Treatments, Doctor-Patient Communications Needs Improvement

The studies in JAMA Internal Medicine look at issues surrounding coordinated care between doctors and their patients.

Los Angeles Times: Patients Who Helped With Medical Choices Had Higher Bills: Study
Many patients like having a say in their medical care. But according to a new survey, the people who say they want to take a relatively aggressive, hands-on approach may also wind up with longer hospital stays and higher bills than their peers who leave the decision making up to their doctors. A team of researchers from the University of Chicago School of Medicine reported on the survey's findings Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine (Brown, 5/27).

Reuters: Patient Communication Has Room To Grow: Studies
There's room -- and need -- for improvement in the discussions between doctor and patient that go into medical decision-making, according to research out on Monday. In four studies and a commentary published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the authors look at various aspects of doctors' dialogue with patients about prognoses, options and treatment preferences and find little consistency (Seaman, 5/27).

Also, Reuters gets early word on a new study about wellness programs -

Reuters: Exclusive: 'Workplace Wellness' Fails Bottom Line Waistlines – RAND
A long-awaited report on workplace wellness programs, which has still not been publicly released, delivers a blow to the increasingly popular efforts, Reuters has learned, casting doubt on a pillar of the Affordable Care Act and a favorite of the business community. According to a report by researchers at the RAND Corp, programs that try to get employees to become healthier and reduce medical costs have only a modest effect (Begley, 5/27).

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