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Personal essays highlight importance of cost-conscious medical decisions

Neel Shah, MD, is on a mission - and the goals of his non-profit Costs of Care are to teach physicians about the role they play in health-care costs and to empower both doctors and patients to reduce harmful spending. As part of its overall awareness campaign, Costs of Care also sponsors an essay contest calling for pieces that highlight the "challenges and opportunities to save patients money with routine, cost-conscious medical decisions." This year's winners were just announced, and their essays were described in a recent release:

    • Renee Lux, a patient from Connecticut writes about how an unnecessary CT scan for easily treated neck pain brands her with a pre-existing condition that causes her insurance premiums to skyrocket.
    • Andrew Schutzbank, a physician from Massachusetts describes how a common pharmaceutical cost-shifting strategy leaves him unable to discharge his patient from the hospital.
    • Court Nederveld, a frugal patient from Florida tells us how he saved money on routine prescriptions and tests by engaging his doctor in a frank conversation about costs.
    • Molly Kantor, a medical student from Massachusetts writes about how she helped treat heart failure on a $100 budget by avoiding an unnecessary hospital admission.

Shah tells me the first winning essay will be posted online Monday. He also plans to summarize "lessons learned from the contest" in a series of online guides and videos geared towards both doctors and patients.

Previously: Educating physicians on the cost of care, Contest seeks personal stories on health-care costs and Non-profit org looking for compelling stories on health-care costs

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