September 1989

Physician Attitudes Toward Cost ContainmentThe Missing Piece of the Puzzle

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester.

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(9):1966-1968. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390090044009

• A survey of 720 physicians practicing in central and western Massachusetts was undertaken to examine their attitudes toward cost-containment measures. The majority of physicians felt that major techniques (58%), major procedures (57%), inappropriate ordering of diagnostic tests (48%), and malpractice concerns (47%) were very important contributors to increasing health care costs. Physician age, practice affiliation, and specialty area were related to the perceived importance of these factors. In addition, while there was a uniform lack of prior training in cost-containment measures, 48% of all physicians felt that courses in cost-containment techniques would be worthwhile. These results suggest a variety of concerns and issues that need to be considered when attempting to modify the cost-containment attitudes and practices of physicians.

(Arch Intern Med. 1989;149:1966-1968)