“Should Doctors Care about the Cost of Healthcare?”

Location: LA 236

Panel Discussion with Walter Lane; PhD; Paul Salles; and James Diaz, MD

Historically, physicians have had the singular focus of providing the highest quality health care to their patients without regard to cost. In fact, since they personally profit from the care they provide, their personal financial incentive may lean to overproviding care. Because insurance companies have paid the bills, patients have not been very concerned about overproviding. However, now that more of the cost of care is falling on patients due to high deductibles and copays, should doctors have an ethical responsibility to consider not only the quality of care, but also the cost when making medical decisions?

Walter Lane is an associate professor of economics at the University of New Orleans. He received his PhD from the University of California, San Diego, and specializes in microeconomic theory and industrial organization.

Paul Salles is the President and CEO of the Louisiana Hospital Association. He holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance from the University of New Orleans and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Belhaven College in Jackson, MS.

James H. Diaz is a professor in the Louisiana State University School of Public Health, where he directs the Environmental/Occupational Health Sciences MPH program. In addition, he is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine, where he directs the newly created Family Medicine/Preventive Medicine Residency Program.

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