A Pediatrician Worries About Cost Trumping Quality

Should doctors raise the issue of cost with patients?
Should doctors raise the issue of cost with patients?

"It's almost a conflict of interest to have dollar signs on my mind when I'm talking to a mother with a very sick infant," Callahan said at a public forum on containing health costs this morning at the Statehouse.

Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. JudyAnn Bigby, said Callahan should absolutely not be talking to patients about the cost of care.

"If this becomes the responsibility of individual providers, having conversations with patients, in their offices, then we have failed, " Bigby said. "We want to avoid the problem of managed care, where doctors were told: 'You are gatekeepers, not doctors."

This program aired on April 5, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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Rachel Zimmerman Reporter
Rachel Zimmerman previously reported on health and the intersection of health and business for WBUR. She is working on a memoir about rebuilding her family after her husband’s suicide. 



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