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Patients and Doctors Chat May Help Cost Cutting

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Patients and Doctors Chat May Help Cost Cutting

Patients and Doctors Chat May Help Cost Cutting

Ethicists and even many health experts have undergone various patient case studies and have come to the conclusion that simple conversations between patients and doctors can lead to huge monetary savings. These instances are seen especially in patients who are affected with incurable diseases and are spending the last stages of their lives in the hospitals.

In this year 2009, a research was conducted in the month of March by Archives of Internal Medicine. As per the reports of the research, it was found that a yearly savings of above 76 million dollars is possible, if 50% of the patients dying from cancer each year can manage to have end-of-life discussions with their physicians.

In the year 2002, about 1,185 severely ailing patients being treated at 5 hospitals of the country, unfortunately met with a huge medical bill. This happened because of a total miscommunication between the patients and doctors. The patients' were unable to explain the doctors what type of care they wanted and so the doctors conducted with their own care procedures, without knowing what the patients' requirements and desires are actually.

Many of these patients had to pay a huge annual bill of $92,000 although they didn't get what they wanted. This is because they didn't express themselves before the doctors. Whereas, those patients who had a talk with their doctors have to pay an annual bill of $52,000 and received the type of care they wished for. It was found that 60% of patients who were severely ill desired for comfort care, whereas 40% of the patients wished for treatment procedures that would aid in lengthening their living period.

That is why many doctors remark that mere chats and end-of-life conversations can really work wonders in healing the patients and savings their precious dollars. Although, many patients find such discussions to be a bit difficult to carry on, but doctors recommend that they must do so for their own well-being.

Not only the patients, but there are few doctors who show no concern regarding carrying on such discussions. Instead, they continue with their own treatment and ultimately shift the patients in the ICU. This neither heals the patients successfully nor saves their money. But ethicists say that if doctors continue to resist themselves from such conversations then it can cause obstacles in patient treatment.

There are many middle-aged and senior people who have stated in legal papers beforehand, about their preferences and wishes to take place at the time of their end-of-life conversations. They have even handed over these papers to their family members. However, they refuse to talk about these things in earlier to their families so as to relieve them from additional burden. Instead they want that the doctors, who would be treating them in their final stages of life to read these documents, understand their desires and carry on the care and conversation as directed in the documents.

The lack of primary care doctors have also led to lack of discussions with the patients. In order to counter this, more number of physicians, graduating from medical schools should engage them in practice and should continue end-of-life conversations with patients, without showing any hesitations or shyness.


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