Hanging a price tag on radiology tests didn't change doctors' habits

NPR, January 29, 2013

If doctors would just pay attention to how much things cost, they might be more careful when ordering tests for patients, right? Well, that's the theory behind some research and projects to cut wasteful health spending. But a study at Johns Hopkins Hospital found that changing doctors' behavior may be not be as easy as simply making them aware of prices. Radiologist and hospitalists collaborated on an experiment to see if disclosing the cost of some of the most frequently ordered imaging tests, including standard chest X-rays and CT scans of the head, would reduce their use in the hospital. The short answer is no.


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