He found that people are often shocked at what they will have to pay out of pocket for the procedure to be done, and most of the time they don’t discover this till afterwards. He expects that if patients were informed that benefits and risks of several options are similar, but one procedure costs a lot more money than the other, patients might opt to do the procedure that costs less money because they’re having trouble paying the rent or putting food on the table.
And when patient consent forms are pushed in front of the patient, there’s often another limitation placed on the patient at the time consent forms are expected to be signed. As he observed, most of these discussions are taking place with people lying in a hospital bed. As Dr. Krumholz sees it, if we are going to take these consent forms seriously and give these patients time to actually know what they are signing, it should occur at a comfortable time period before they’re rolled in for the procedure.
So, what did I take away from this article? Physicians and health care providers should inform patients about risks and benefits in a way that patients understand and in a way that allows patients to seriously consider all treatment options.