Doctors Need To Learn How Much Health Care Financially Burdens Patients

Medical schools are now teaching just how much of a financial burden health care can place on patients, something not often emphasized in the past, according to Georgia Health News (GHN). A survey by the Association of Medical Colleges conducted last year showed that 144 of 145 medical schools now require students to study health care financing.

But the courses are often taught in the first or second year, and they don’t necessarily sink in at that point, according to Ruth Lewit, a fourth-year student at the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership. She tells GHN: “They can teach us as much as they want the second year, but until you actually see it in action, so much of that doesn’t even make sense to you.”

Mark Ebell, MD, teaches two courses about medical finances: one about community health, and the other about population level health. He says that many doctors have no idea what a treatment, test, or procedure costs. That’s because most doctors never see the bills and reimbursement transactions that are processed by their office staffs.

Source: Georgia Health News