Facing intense price competition and societal pressures, health care provider organizations have focused increasingly on the cost-effectiveness of medical services. In instances when there is insufficient evidence that a more expensive treatment course generates improved outcomes, the lower cost option is often encouraged. Yet, with resource utilization still determined principally by individual physicians, large practice variations often persist. This paper reviews the literature and explores the impact of sharing cost information on physicians' practice patterns utilizing management theory concepts. More research should be conducted to determine long-term benefits of educational interventions, physicians' fundamental views on the relationship between cost and quality and its effect on their responsiveness to cost information, and the role of leadership in changing clinical behavior.