Cost consciousness among physicians in the neonatal intensive care unit

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objectives of this study were (1) to describe the prevalence and correlates of cost consciousness among physician providers in neonatology and (2) to describe knowledge of cost of common medications, laboratory/imaging evaluations, hospitalization costs and reimbursements.

STUDY DESIGN:

A 54-item survey was administered to members of the Section on Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

RESULTS:

Of the 602 participants, 37% reported cost consciousness in decision making. Adjusting for years in practice, gender, training level, type of practice setting and region of practice, formalized education about costs was associated with increased cost consciousness in practice (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 3.4; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.2 to 9.8). Working in a private practice setting was also associated with increased cost consciousness when ordering laboratory (AOR: 3.0; (95% CI: 1.2 to 7.6)) or imaging tests (AOR: 2.0; 95% CI: 1.0 to 4.8).

CONCLUSIONS:

We found variation in knowledge of cost. Formal education about costs and working in a private practice setting were associated with increased cost consciousness.

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