Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Economic pressures can lead to unequal treatment of patients

Two studies in Florida show that pressure from hospitals and insurance companies to minimize health care costs can negatively affect the quality of care for some people.

Human factors/ergonomics researchers compared medical treatments for incarcerated and unincarcerated (paying) patients and found a startling difference. Findings from the second study will be presented on Wednesday, October 18, 2006, during the HFES 50th Annual Meeting at the Hilton San Francisco Hotel. The meeting dates are October 16–20.

U.S. health care costs are increasing faster than inflation and are estimated to reach 20% of GDP in less than 10 years. Insurance companies and hospitals have created new medical plans and promote self-care technology in hopes of minimizing costs, but doctors resist this rationing system. Nevertheless, economic pressure is shown to have sometimes unconscious effects on physicians' provision of care.

In Study 1, residents and fellows at a major urban hospital provided 50 incarcerated and free diabetes patients with medical treatment based on standards set by the American Medical Association and the American Dental Association. Both groups of patients should have received identical time, attention, and care.

The researchers found that incarcerated patients received significantly less care than free patients. For example, no incarcerated patients received a flu shot or cholesterol screening, but all the free patients did. In Study 2, a random sample of 100 doctors completed a questionnaire, and some were interviewed in more detail about their responses.

When asked what affected their treatment decisions, both the first-year and more experienced residents cited significant financial pressure to cut costs, the correctional status of the patient, obstacles in treating incarcerated patients (for example, shackles and guards), demographics such as socioeconomic status, and assumptions that patients from lower socioeconomic levels and those in prison would be less likely to comply with posttreatment medical care.

Whether conscious or not, some decision-making bias was evident in the provision of care. Paying patients were more likely to be given priority. Explicit bias was identified with regard to both low-income and incarcerated patients whom the doctors assumed were more likely to ignore medical advice.

The researchers suggest that the creation of standard protocols (including patient scheduling), decision support systems, training regimens, and decision support interventions could help to prevent bias and prioritizing in patient care.

Lois Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>