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Consumers place high value on medical testing

Category: General Health

Consumers place high value on medical testing   Nearly everyone wants to know their future, particularly when their health is at stake. A new survey from Tufts University researchers has found that a majority of participants would be willing to pay out-of-pocket costs to get a blood test that could predict their risk of a major disease.

While cost is one of the main deciding factors that determines whether or not someone will seek medical care, the results indicate that consumers place a tremendous value on knowing whether or not they are at risk for disease.

The team found in their survey of nearly 1,500 patients that 76 percent would be willing to pay between $300 and $600 based on the condition being tested for. The most common diseases that individuals would pay to be screened for included prostate cancer, breast cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer's disease.

"This study brings us a step closer to understanding people's preferences and motivations for wanting a diagnostic test, even if it has no bearing on subsequent medical treatment," said Peter J. Neumann, who led the study. "While we have to proceed cautiously in this area, given that tests have costs and risks as well as benefits, our study suggests that many people value information."
 

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