Patients' knowledge of insurance co-pays reduces ED use

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 19, 2010

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Patients who better understand how much they pay for health insurance and co-pays are more likely to regularly access office-based medical care than to seek treatment at an emergency department, according to a study in the April American Journal of Managed Care (link).

"Given the enormous costs of emergency room visits in contrast to office visits, it appears that more transparency about costs of health care services could help both employees and employers contain their respective expenditure on health services," said James Burgess Jr., PhD, one of the paper's authors and associate professor of health policy and management at Boston University School of Public Health.

Researchers surveyed 1,500 employees of the Massachusetts state government. Approximately 62% knew how much they paid for their insurance premiums, and 67% knew the co-pay for a physician visit.

Younger, less-educated, low-income employees were more aware of health care costs than were those who were older, had more schooling and earned more money.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn