You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

You are using an outdated browser.

To ensure optimal security, this website will soon be unavailable on this browser. Please upgrade your browser to allow continued use of ACP websites.

You are here

Healthcare Transparency: Cost of Care Conversations Resources

Health care costs have been rising steadily in the United States and are a common cause of financial distress.

In addition to increasing out of pocket costs, patients may have other costs associated with their care such as transportation and lost wages. Healthcare transparency — that is, acknowledging and discussing the costs of care with patients — may impact the care plan and eventually result in stronger clinician-patient relationships and better patient outcomes.

ACP’s Cost of Care Conversations tools were developed to help clinicians and patients understand the importance of talking about costs of care and to help them efficiently and effectively address cost of care issues in the clinical setting.

For more information on Cost of Care, please refer to the Annals of Internal Medicine special supplement on Cost of Care, issued May 7, 2019.

Podcast: Cost-of-Care Conversations Are Crucial NEW

Newly released from The Curbsiders, this podcast recognizes the importance of cost-of-care conversations and identifies tools to help make these conversations a part of routine care discussions.

Listen to Podcast

Cost of Care Resources

For Physicians

  1. Cost Distress Screening Tool
    Provides guidance on how to screen patients for cost concerns.
  2. Cost Distress Screening and Conversation Guide
    Provides guidance on how to screen patients for cost concerns and how to have a cost of care talk with them.
  3. Cost-of-Care Resources for Clinicians and Patients
    Highlights patient resources that address direct, indirect and intangible medical costs. It can be customized for your needs.
  4. Free Online Health Care Cost Estimator Resources
    Provides resources for estimating various costs of care that can be used by both medical teams and patients.
  5. Medical Treatment Cost Planning Tool
    Helps clinicians and patients chart a full course of treatment over a period of time to help estimate total costs to the patient.
  6. A Practice-Level Approach to Addressing Health Care Cost Distress
    QI-focused tool to help practices implement new workflows around cost of care conversations.
  7. Steps to Estimate Cost of Care
    Provides an overview of the process for determining costs of care.

For Patients

Patient FACTS - Cost of Care
This document provides a helpful guide to patients about understanding and managing their health care costs. Available in English and Spanish.

These videos below address the importance of discussing cost of care through a clinician-to-clinician discussion, a clinician addressing patients, and a conversation between a clinician and a patient.