The healthcare industry is challenged to reduce costs while still providing quality care. Something needs to shift—but who bears the responsibility for making the change?
The New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst Insights Council recently surveyed its members to address the question: How responsible are patients for reducing costs?
Survey results show that Council members believe that responsibility for lowering the cost of care is shared across stakeholders. Hospitals/health systems (chosen by 95% of respondents) and clinicians (94%) top the list for responsibility, with government (88%) and patients (83%) close behind.
The results also show that industry practitioners believe that patients lack the education they need to be effective participants in managing the cost of their care:
- 61% indicated that patients don’t have enough information to affect the cost of their own healthcare-related decisions.
- 78% said that assessing the total cost of care is extremely challenging for patients.
What does this mean for the healthcare industry? To move the needle on containing costs, hospitals and other healthcare providers need to educate and engage their secret weapon—the patient.