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Comment & Response
November 27, 2013

Health Care Cost Control and Views of Physicians—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA. 2013;310(20):2201. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.282150

In Reply The survey conducted by Tilburt et al asked physicians to “rate the degree of responsibility (if any) each of these [various] entities should have in reducing the cost of health care.” Only 36% of the respondents indicated that physicians have a major responsibility to reduce costs.

Even though nearly all of the respondents (95%) indicated that physicians do have at least some responsibility to control costs, they consistently apportioned greater responsibility to other actors in the system. Trial lawyers, insurance companies, drug and device manufacturers, hospitals, and even patients all ranked higher on the responsibility scale. The data make clear, as Tilburt explained, that physicians believe that “they are, if anything, a little bit less responsible for fixing health care cost than other key stakeholders.”1

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