ACP's new Cost of Care Conversations tools help physicians and patients to understand the importance of talking about costs of health care and efficiently and effectively address cost issues in the clinical setting. Health care costs have been rising steadily in the United States and are a common cause of financial distress for patients. Acknowledging and discussing the costs of care with patients may affect care plans and eventually result in a stronger clinician-patient relationship and better patient outcomes.
The resources, which include evidence-based articles and training tools, were developed with grant support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. A supplement to Annals of Internal Medicine features eight articles and related multimedia content with strategies for discussing the cost of care with patients during clinical encounters. The supplement includes links to tools designed to overcome barriers that may impede such conversations. The tools include free online health care cost estimator resources and a cost-distress screening tool and conversation guide.