Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Doctors Fail to Know if Patients can Afford Medication

My opinion: Again, this is a very important piece of information that doctors should be aware of, but there are only so many things that go into conversation during a meeting with the patient.  I think, in addition to asking this in the end, doctors should also ask if the patient may have trouble taking their medication, as this is often a problem in our society.  Then, the doctor should ask the patient if there are any other problems at all that the doctor needs to know.  This will help cover all potential issues, as the doctor cannot ask dozens of specific questions about the patient in one meeting, not to mention the fact that it may appear obnoxious.  Finally, in the cases in which the patient doesn't reveal a problem when there actually is one, the doctor will need to rely on social cues to figure out what is going on.  For example, the doctor in the article could see that the patient seemed nervous when he received his prescription.  These are the skills that are developed over by interacting with people and patients for a long time.  So what should doctors do if their patients can't pay?  Should they pay themselves?  Feel free to comment.
 

Article found at:  http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/01/doctors-not-asking-about-money/

1 comment:

  1. Interestingly, the article only discussed instances when the copay was too much for the patient, but did not comment on the high price of medication. Often, prescription medication can be in the hundreds of dollars, especially without insurance coverage which can be beyond what patients are able to afford. While I believe that the onus falls on the pharmaceutical industry for the excessive pricing of some of these medications, doctors should work with patients in selecting medications and a plan of treatment that is within the patient's budget.

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