Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Fischer KA, Walling A, Wenger N, Glaspy J. Cost health literacy as a physician skill-set: the relationship between oncologist reported knowledge and engagement with patients on financial toxicity. Supportive Care in Cancer : Official Journal of The Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer. 2020 Mar 19.
PubMed logo Search for Abstract from PubMed
(This link leaves the website of VA HSR&D.)


Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Oncologists are increasingly encouraged to communicate with patients about cost; however, they may lack the cost health literacy required to effectively perform this task. METHODS: We conducted a pilot survey of oncologists in an academic medical center to assess potential factors that may influence provider attitudes and practices related to financial toxicity. We assessed perceived provider knowledge of treatment costs, insurance coverage and co-pays, and financially focused resources. We then evaluated the relationship between perceived knowledge and reported engagement with issues of financial toxicity. RESULTS: Of 45 respondents (85% response rate), 58% had changed treatment within the past year as a result of patient financial burden. On self-report, 36% discussed out-of-pocket costs with patients, 42% assessed patient financial distress, but only 20% felt they could intervene upon financial toxicity. Self-perceived awareness of cost health literacy concepts were low; only 16% reporting high out-of-pocket cost knowledge, 31-33% high insurance knowledge, and 8% high awareness of financial resources. Report of cost discussion was associated with greater perceived awareness of both out-of-pocket costs and insurance design. However, reported financial distress assessment was only associated with perceived insurance awareness, not perceived cost knowledge. Cost health literacy was not associated with an increased sense of being able to impact on financial toxicity. CONCLUSION: Oncologists acknowledge deficits in knowledge and skills that may play a role in the discussion and management of financial toxicity. Some cost health literacy competencies appear to correlate with physician involvement with financial toxicity, suggesting that education on this topic may facilitate physician engagement.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.