Navigation Links
Educate individuals to prevent sky-rocketing health care costs

BOSTON (5:00 p.m. EDT, April 7, 2010) Educating individuals about the costs of healthcare could save money and lead to a more efficient use of the healthcare system, report policy researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and Boston University School of Public Health. The study is the first to assess the effect of knowledge and perceptions of cost-sharing levels (the percentage of cost borne by individuals out of total healthcare costs) on self-reported and actual behavior. The study points to a need to examine how changes to cost-sharing might change consumer behavior to contain costs while still getting appropriate care.

Employers increase healthcare costs to employees partly to reduce their own costs and partly to motivate employees to use the healthcare system in a more cost-efficient way. The researchers wanted to identify how changing the cost-sharing levels affected how employees used the healthcare system. The study, published in The American Journal of Managed Care, found an association between the employees who were more informed about overall healthcare costs and their higher ratio of office visits to emergency room visits, when compared with the visit ratio of other employees who were less informed

"We know how much electricity costs us and we know how much our groceries cost, but, as patients, costs of our healthcare remain vague. As patients, we know that we might have a co-payment but we rarely know the underlying costs or the differences in costs depending on our utilization of the healthcare system. The complexity of the medical and billing systems have prevented consumers from understanding how best to utilize healthcare options to contain costs," said Amy Lischko, DSc, assistant professor of public health and community medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.

"Respondents who were more informed about their specific copayments for office visits and emergency room visits were more likely to have more office visits and more likely to have fewer emergency room visits. Given the enormous costs of emergency room visits in contrast to office visits, it appears that more transparency about costs of healthcare services could help both employees and employers contain their respective expenditures on health services," said James Burgess, Jr, PhD, associate professor of health policy and management at Boston University School of Public Health.

Lischko and Burgess conducted a survey of approximately 1,500 employees of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, over a period of increasing copayments, to assess their knowledge of cost sharing and healthcare utilization. The survey data was merged with claims data for respondents and their dependents.

"Although this study cannot be generalized across the country, it does argue for developing strategies to educate patients better about their cost-sharing responsibilities so that costs for everyone can be contained. As we implement healthcare reform, and as insurance becomes available to millions of previously uninsured people, we have an unprecedented opportunity to provide incentives to use the system efficiently and to educate people about the effects of their behavior on overall health care costs," Lischko said.


Contact: Siobhan Gallagher
Tufts University, Health Sciences

Related medicine news :

1. Remuda Ranch, Programs for Eating and Anxiety Disorders, and MASK (Mothers Awareness on School-Age Kids), Partner to Help Educate Parents, Teachers and Students About Eating Disorders
2. Sleep Study Shows Pillo1 Re-Educates Body to Naturally Move Into Optimal Sleep Position and Increases REM Sleep by 21.3%
3. Raleigh Dentist Dr. Robert Williamson to Educate Patients About Sedation Dentistry
4. Better Educated May Have Greater Asthma Control
5. Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon Educates About the Pros and Cons of Plastic Surgery
6. Embark Health Selects the Jellyvision Lab's Interactive Conversation Technology to Educate Website Visitors on Advance Directives
7. CIBA VISION Partners with TLC's Carmindy to Educate Consumers About Healthy Eye Habits
8. Buy HGH Website Educates Consumers on the Pros and Cons of Human Growth Hormone Supplements
9. National Prosthodontics Awareness Week Serves and Educates Consumers About Proper Oral Health Care
10. Educates Homeowners on Lead Poisoning Safeguards During National Poison Prevention Week
11. Annual Conference to Educate New or Experienced Practitioners on the Science and Business of Weight Management
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a ... new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a ... occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland ... iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness ... & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme ... “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was ... other children and say he was going to kill them. If we were driving ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief ... a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly ... lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC ... by obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment ... resulted in more than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new affiliate with ... Latin America . ... ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... N.J. , June 23, 2016  Guerbet announced ... Premier Inc.,s Supplier Horizon Award . ... year, Guerbet was recognized for its support of Premier ... creation through clinical excellence, and commitment to lower costs. ... to receive this recognition of our outstanding customer service ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Volumes: Global Analysis (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, United ... to their offering. ... healthcare business planners, provides surgical procedure volume data in ... with an in-depth analysis of growth drivers and inhibitors, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: