The increasing cost of US health care strains the economy. Because physicians’ decisions play a key role in overall health care spending and quality, several recent initiatives have called on physicians to reduce waste and exercise wise stewardship of resources. Given their roles, physicians’ perspectives on policies and strategies related to cost containment and their perceived responsibilities as stewards of health care resources in general are increasingly germane to recent pending and proposed policy reforms.

We surveyed US physicians about their views on several potential proposed policies and strategies to contain health care spending, assessed physicians’ perceived roles and responsibilities in ad- dressing health care costs, and ascertained physician characteristics associated with those views.

Our data suggest that physicians struggle with navigating the tensions between their responsibilities to address overall health care re- source use and their primary obligation to do what is best for individual patients.



Authors: Jon C. Tilburt, MD, MPH; Matthew K. Wynia, MD, MPH; Robert D. Sheeler, MD; Bjorg Thorsteinsdottir, MD; Katherine M. James, MPH; Jason S. Egginton, MPH; Mark Liebow, MD, MPH; Samia Hurst, MD; Marion Danis, MD, MPH; Susan Dorr Goold, MD, MHSA, MA

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