Dr Yousuf Zafar on Addressing Patient Costs

Discussing out-of-pocket costs with patients and how they can deal with the costs is critical for physicians, Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS, associate professor of medicine at the Duke Cancer Institute and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, said at the 56th ASH Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, from December 6-9.

Discussing out-of-pocket costs with patients and how they can deal with the costs is critical for physicians, Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS, associate professor of medicine at the Duke Cancer Institute and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, said at the 56th ASH Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, from December 6-9.

Physicians are often concerned about how complicated it is to address costs in the clinic because they have to take into account a variety of factors: institutional pricing, payers, insurance plan types, etc. However, the lack of price transparency makes it difficult to have a detailed discussion, he said.

“One simple question could save some patients a lot of money,” Dr Zafar said. “Just asking patients ‘Do you have prescription drug coverage?’ that’s a first, very simple step to integrating costs into the medical treatment decision making.”