Tilburt and colleagues launched the survey project in June, 2012 because, he says, physicians largely direct the intensity and extent of the care their patients receive, and as such are increasingly looked upon to be good stewards, and avoid advising unnecessary tests and procedures.
"The landscape is changing so much, we felt it was reasonable to get a baseline to assess physicians' opinions in depth," he says.
The questionnaire prompted 2,556 doctors to identify which segments of the healthcare industry—trial lawyers, insurers, pharmaceutical and device manufacturers, hospitals, patients, government, individual doctors, professional societies or employers—had "major," "some," or "no" responsibility to reduce healthcare costs.
Responders also were asked whether they were "very," "somewhat," or "not" enthusiastic about the ability of certain strategies to reduce costs, such as continuity of care, rooting out fraud and abuse, coordinating care, preventive care, expanding EHR, expanding quality and safety data access, or promoting trials of competing treatments.
The survey findings are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Tilburt says one finding from the survey surprised him, and indicated that physicians may be talking "out of both sides of their mouths" in the way they answered two questions.