Estimation of unreimbursed patient education costs at a large group practice.

Arthur R. Williams, John C. McDougall, Sandra K. Bruggeman, Patricia J. Erwin, Margo E. Kroshus, James M. Naessens

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: A search of the literature on the cost of patient education found that provider education time per patient per day was rarely reported and usually not derivable from published reports. Costs of continuing education needed by health professionals to support patient education also were not given. Without this information, it is difficult to appraise the costs of existing or newly proposed patient education activities and technologies. METHODS: An extensive literature search was conducted. Clinic and hospital personnel at a large group practice were surveyed to obtain per patient per day estimates for comparison with the literature. RESULTS: Although the literature now spans several disciplines, few useful empiric studies exist. In the group practice, 18.6 minutes per patient per day were spent on patient education. Unreimbursed cost of patient education by nurses alone was $28,258,478 to $48,710,368 annually. These costs do not include costs of continuing education to maintain and upgrade patient education. DISCUSSION: The cost figures reported above are consistent with the limited information in the literature. The present study suggests that patient education costs are substantial, and more attention needs to be given to the costs of continuing education intended to improve patient education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-19
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of continuing education in the health professions
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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