Providing High-Value, Cost-Conscious Care: A Critical Seventh General Competency for Physicians

American College of Physicians, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Annals of internal medicine (Impact Factor: 17.81). 09/2011; 155(6):386-8. DOI: 10.1059/0003-4819-155-6-201109200-00007
Source: PubMed


There is general agreement that the U.S. economy cannot sustain the staggering economic burden imposed by the current and projected costs of health care. Whereas governmental approaches are focused primarily on decreasing spending for medical care, it is the responsibility of the medical profession to become cost-conscious and decrease unnecessary care that does not benefit patients but represents a substantial percentage of health care costs. At present, the 6 general competencies of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) that drive residency training place relatively little emphasis on residents' understanding of the need for stewardship of resources or for practicing in a cost-conscious fashion. Given the importance in today's health care system, the author proposes that cost-consciousness and stewardship of resources be elevated by the ACGME and the ABMS to the level of a new, seventh general competency. This will hopefully provide the necessary impetus to change the culture of the training environment and the practice patterns of both residents and their supervising faculty.

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