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Effect of Providing Price Info Varies for Type of Clinician

No difference in rate at which orders were placed across study arms for pediatric-focused clinicians


FRIDAY, Jan. 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The effect of price information varies for pediatric- and adult-focused clinicians, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in Pediatrics.

Alyna T. Chien, M.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues randomized 227 pediatric-focused and 279 adult-oriented clinicians to one of three study arms: control (no price display), single median price, or paired internal/external median price (both with price display in electronic health record). The authors examined how often clinicians placed orders and designated tests to be completed internally within an accountable care organization.

The researchers observed no significant difference in the rates at which orders were placed or designated to be completed internally across the study arms for pediatric-focused clinicians. For adult-oriented clinicians caring for children and adolescents, orders were placed at significantly higher rates in the single price and paired price arms compared with the control arm (6.2 and 5.2, respectively, versus 3.2). There was no significant difference across the arms in the rate at which adult-oriented clinicians designated tests to be completed internally.

"This study shows that simply presenting clinicians with price information does not ensure lower ordering rates," the authors write. "Understanding the effect of providing clinicians with price information may be a far more complex activity than previously appreciated."

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