dr. solomon's dilemma

10 questions to ask your doctor

solomon profile
financial incentives
cost v. care
It is very difficult to raise financial questions with our doctors. Such questions have always been considered to be rude and challenging.

Nonetheless, all of the doctors we spoke with in researching the show professed the importance of the patients understanding the financial incentives at work in their care. Here are some basic questions you might raise with your physician.

1. Are you "at risk" financially for my care?

2. Do you get paid a bonus based on performance measures?

3. Are you penalized financially if your costs are too high?

4. Does your practice follow a drug formulary? (A drug formulary is a chart developed by a practice or a health plan that encourages physicians to prescribe less expensive drugs).

5. Is your practice owned by a larger conglomerate?

6. What specialists are you able to refer me to? (Often the answer will involve certain medical centers or clinics with whom the physician has a contractual relationship).

7. Are you restricted in any way from referring me to someone I want to go visit? (If they are and your specialist is important to you, you may want to consider choosing a primary care physician who is not restricted from referring you to your specialist of choice).

8. Does the cost of the care you give effect your colleagues income?

9. What emergency rooms can I go to without question?

10. What rehab/skilled nursing/hospice centers do you refer to?

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