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High Medical Cost Burdens, Patient Trust and Perceived Quality of Care

Jan. 5, 2009
Journal of General Internal Medicine Peter J. Cunningham

This study examines the association between high medical cost burdens and self-reported measures of patient trust of physicians and perceived quality of care. The rising cost of medical care threatens a vital aspect of the effective delivery of medical care—patient trust in their physician and continuity of care. This study found that patients with high medical cost burdens were more likely to question whether their physician would put their needs first, would refer them to specialists when needed and would perform unnecessary tests. Patients with high medical cost burdens also had more negative assessments of the thoroughness of care they receive from their physician. The association of high medical cost burdens with patient trust and perceived quality of care was greatest for privately insured people. This study was supported by the Commonwealth Fund.

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