A $4 million initiative launched by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RJWF) and Avalere Health two years ago, the Cost Conversation, aimed to take a closer look at cost of care conversations between patients and their care providers.
The partnership found through early polling that roughly 20 percent of patients reported having skipped care when they had questions regarding cost, and that 42 percent of patients polled said they waited to address costs until the bill arrived, according to a Health Affairs blog post by RJWF and Avalere staff.
“The Cost Conversation projects defined cost-of-care conversations as discussions regarding all the costs that patients and their families might face, from out-of-pocket to indirect costs … for a health care option,” the post states.
Researchers found that providers and care staff do want to talk care costs, and that the conversations can become a key component of the health care experience.
“We have also learned that providers can benefit from training on how to conduct these conversations and from tools to make conversations easier,” the blog states.