Pa­tients like it cheap,

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS -

Turn­ing the fun­da­men­tals of eco­nom­ics up­side down, a study has found that Amer­i­cans think that the lower the to­tal price of a lifesaving medicine, the more valu­able the medicine is, mean­ing they’re more likely to take it.

In the same vein, the higher the price of a lifesaving medicine, the less likely a per­son is go­ing to take it, the study re­sults in­di­cate.

The re­sults were not ex­pected by the re­searchers, says one of the study au­thors, Adri­ana Sam­per, as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor at Ari­zona State Univer­sity’s W. P. Carey School of Busi­ness.

Sam­per says the per­cep­tions may be tied to a be­lief that the U.S. health­care sys­tem places a high value on sav­ing lives and as a re­sult will keep prices for such things as a lifesaving drug or vac­cine low. (Please re­frain from snick­er­ing.)

She says that be­lief is sup­ported by the find­ing that for non-lifesaving medicines, the tra­di­tional pric­ing the­o­ries hold up, valu­able medicines are ex­pected to be priced high and low-value medicines are ex­pected to have a low price, ac­cord­ing to the re­sults of the study, sched­uled to be pub­lished in the April is­sue of the Jour­nal of Con­sumer Re­search.

“Peo­ple (also) may feel un­com­fort­able think­ing that they would die if they didn’t have the money to pay for ac­cess to lifesaving care,” Sam­per says. She says all of the drugs were con­sid­ered to be free to the pa­tient, so the re­sults were not tied to the abil­ity to pay.

As op­ti­mistic as the study par­tic­i­pants were about health­care’s view of lifesaving drugs, they still take a more self-cen­tered ap­proach to vac­ci­na­tions. Par­tic­i­pants were more likely to get vac­ci­nated when ad­vised of the ben­e­fits to their own self than they were when ad­vised of the ben­e­fits to so­ci­ety.

“They really needed to see the ef­fects on them­selves,” Sam­per says. “We were a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed.”

No place for guns here

Hos­pi­tals and guns don’t mix is the mes­sage be­ing sent by the Michi­gan Health & Hospi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion.

The as­so­ci­a­tion sup­ported Michi­gan Gov. Rick Sny­der when he ve­toed state leg­is­la­tion last month that would have re­drawn gun-free zones and al­lowed some con­cealed firearms in­side hos­pi­tals. To fur­ther demon­strate its stance that hos­pi­tals should re­main gun-free zones to pro­mote health and well­ness, the as­so­ci­a­tion do­nated $10,000 to Lans­ing, Mich.’s gun buy­back pro­gram.

The buy­back pro­gram gives peo­ple turn­ing in a firearm gift cards worth $50 to $150 for use at par­tic­i­pat­ing stores such as the big-box re­tailer Mei­jer.

“The MHA and its mem­ber hos­pi­tals and health sys­tems are not anti-gun; they sim­ply be­lieve that guns do not have a place in hos­pi­tals,” MHA Pres­i­dent Spencer John­son says in a state­ment. “Sup­port­ing the vol­un­tary re­moval of guns from Lans­ing neigh­bor­hoods is just one way we can help en­sure hos­pi­tals re­main gun-free and that our com­mu­nity is healthy and safe.”

Lans­ing and its pop­u­la­tion of more than 114,000 recorded 12 vi­o­lent homi­cides in 2012, the most since 2008. The city is home to three hos­pi­tals: Spar­row Hospi­tal, McLaren Greater Lans­ing and Spar­row Spe­cialty Hospi­tal.

Na­tive Amer­i­can heal­ers sought

Not-for-profit San­ford Health sys­tem is get­ting ready to pos­si­bly use Na­tive Amer­i­can heal­ing prac­tices in an ef­fort to make its Amer­i­can In­dian pa­tients feel more wel­come.

San­ford Health is hir­ing a Lakota/Dakota and an Ojibwe to serve as con­sul­tants as part of a three-year $12 mil­lion CMS grant, says Read Su­lik, San­ford’s se­nior vice pres­i­dent for be­hav­ioral health ser­vices, speak­ing to the As­so­ci­ated Press.

Su­lik, based in Fargo, N.D., says the tra­di­tional heal­ers will act as ad­vis­ers to health­care work­ers to de­velop train­ing and cur­ricu­lum about the Amer­i­can In­dian cul­ture, and will con­sult with med­i­cal staff on when it may be ap­pro­pri­ate to use tra­di­tional heal­ing tech­niques.

Some cer­e­monies and tra­di­tions might seem odd to non-Na­tives, such as the smudg­ing of sage and sweet grass to pu­rify the area around the pa­tient, says Oi­tan­can Mani Ze­phier, a Yank­ton Sioux tribe mem­ber. When a baby is born, the Yank­ton Sioux be­lieve that wip­ing out the new­born’s mouth with sage can help the in­fant bet­ter tran­si­tion from the spir­i­tual realm of the womb.

Some pa­tients also wrap to­bacco in cloths of red, black, yel­low or white and hang them on their bed­posts as prayer of­fer­ings. “It’s for the spir­its, or the an­gels, if you will, who are coming in to help heal,” Ze­phier says.

From left, Floyd Chasse, vice pres­i­dent of hu­man re­sources for McLaren Greater Lans­ing, Dennis Swan, pres­i­dent and CEO of Spar­row Health and Spencer John­son, MHA pres­i­dent, present a check for a gun buy­back to Lans­ing Po­lice Chief Teresa Szy­man­ski and Mayor Virg Bernero.

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