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The Johns Hopkins Magazine for June 2013 contains an article titled “Sticker Shock” that features research conducted by GIM’s Leonard Feldman, MD into physicians’ consideration of costs in deciding whether to order medical tests. The article describes a study that was published in the May 27, 2013 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine titled “Impact of Providing Fee Data on Laboratory Test Ordering: A Controlled Clinical Trial” with Dr. Feldman as first-named author. Other GIM faculty authors of the JAMA Internal Medicine article were Jessica Yeh, PhD, and Daniel Brotman, MD.
The research compared the frequency with which medical residents ordered tests when the fee for each was displayed on the computerized order entry form to the frequency with which they ordered the same tests when—as usual—no cost information was displayed. The aim of the study was to test a simple way to remind future physicians of costs accrued to patients in an effort to reduce the number of unnecessary tests performed in hospitals.