Family physicians who focus on communicating with patients can lower the overall cost of care, according to a research report published in the September-October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine. A team headed by Ronald Epstein, M.D., director of research in family medicine and associate dean for education evaluation and research at the University of Rochester (N.Y.) School of Medicine and Dentistry, found that patient-centered communication may cut the cost of care, chiefly through reduced spending on diagnostic tests. The authors also found that physicians who use this style of communication spend more time with their patients, which may not be reimbursed.
Better communication tied to reduced costs: study
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