The headline is from a published article in Consumer Reports and written by a physician. She offers sound advice on what to say and what to ask, given the health care climate of continual rising deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. The insight is valuable and people should feel comfortable and confident in bringing up the subject of medical cost.

You’re not alone

According to research, one-third of Americans feel “financially burdened by medical expenses.” However, they are not sure or hesitant about broaching the subject for fear that it may possibly affect their care in a negative way.

But, here is what many may find to be enlightening and eye-opening: Many doctors also avoid bringing up the subject of cost. Many people would find that hard to believe, but we should remember that medical professionals are also human beings with perhaps the same trepidation in approaching subjects of patient cost, expense and finances.

It may make your care better?

People may find that hard to believe. But according to the author, she believes it to be true:

“A study presented at the 2017 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology found that many people worry that expressing financial concerns might influence their doctor’s decisions, leading them, for example, to suggest less effective treatments. It’s a sentiment I’ve heard from patients before.”

But if your doctors are informed when cost matters, they can make more thoughtful choices. The treatments they recommend are often the result of habit—and costs were never included in their medical training. They can usually select alternative courses of action that are just as effective.”

Click here to read the entire article. In the area of diagnostic testing, one great way for doctors (and people as patients) to suggest substantial financial savings is by selecting an independent imaging provider to perform tests such as MRI, CT, ultrasound and nuclear medicine procedures.

Many are common tests that are effectively performed outside of a hospital setting at rates that people often find astonishing when compared to what the hospital wants to charge.

By reading the article, you learn why it’s important to speak up, when to do it and what to ask. All from a medical provider herself.

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