Most doctors and nurses don’t know what ER care costs

From Reuters:

Less than half of doctors and nurses working in emergency rooms know what some of the conditions they see most often cost to treat, a recent U.S. study suggests.

Researchers asked 441 emergency medicine clinicians to estimate the cost of care for three common scenarios: a 35-year old woman with abdominal pain, a 57-year old man with labored breathing and a 7-year old boy with a sore throat. Each case included a medical history, results from physical exams and lab tests as well as a rundown of any treatments provided.

Then, researchers asked participants to choose one of four price ranges for each scenario: less than $2,000; $2,001 to $4,000; $4,001 to $6,000 or $6,001 to $8,000.

Just 32 percent of respondents got the right price range for the scenario of the man with labored breathing, which cost $2,423. Only 40 percent of clinicians picked the correct price range for the kid with a sore throat, whose cost was $596, while 43 percent of participants chose the right price range for the case of the woman with abdominal pain that had charges of $4,713.

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