Direct and indirect costs of care influence patients’ health choices and the ability to implement those choices. Despite the significant impact of care costs on patients’ health and daily lives, patient decision aid (PtDA) and shared decision-making (SDM) guidelines almost never mention a discussion of costs of treatment options as part of minimum standards or quality criteria. Given the growing study of the impact of costs in health decisions and the rising costs of care more broadly, in fall 2021 we organized a symposium at the Society for Medical Decision Making’s annual meeting. The focus was on the role of cost information in PtDAs and SDM. Panelists gave an overview of work in this space at this virtual meeting, and attendees engaged in rich discussion with the panelists about the state of the problem as well as ideas and challenges in incorporating cost-related issues into routine care. This article summarizes and extends our discussion based on the literature in this area and calls for action. We recommend that PtDA and SDM guidelines routinely include a discussion of direct and indirect care costs and that researchers measure the frequency, quality, and response to this information.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMDM Policy and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • cost conversations
  • financial toxicity
  • patient decision aids
  • shared decision making


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