Navigation Links
Medical patients aren't bargain hunters

Consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) offer low premiums but high deductibles on the premise that patients who are faced with deductibles of $1,000 or more for individual coverage (or twice that for family coverage) will shop around for the best price for the health care.

In practice, however, that's not the case, according to a new study by the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics and the RAND Corporation.

Examining the consumer decisions with and without CDHPs when receiving nine common outpatient services (such as office visits, chest x-rays and colonoscopies) researchers found that patients with CDHPs paid roughly the same amount as their traditionally insured counterparts for 8 out of 9 services analyzed. The only exception was office visits where the researchers found that patients with CDHPs paid about 2 percent less for office visits.

"We looked at data from 63 large employers and find little or no evidence that enrolling in a consumer directed health plan encourages price-shopping for health care" said lead author Neeraj Sood, associate professor at the USC Schaeffer Center. Sood collaborated with Zachary Wagner, also from USC, as well as Peter Huckfeldt from RAND and Amelia M. Haviland from Carnigie Mellon University and RAND. Their study was published online in the journal Forum for Health Economics & Policy on March 20.

The problem is twofold, Sood said. A lack of transparency about the costs of medical treatment makes it difficult for shop around for the best price when's the last time you called around to radiology departments to inquire about the cost of an x-ray? Also, patients are most likely just to receive outpatient services from the providers their primary care physicians recommend.

"People don't question their doctor's advice," Sood said, who theorized that one possible solution would be to find a way to incentivize those doctors to help their patients find the most affordable options possible.

Overall, CDHPs do seem to offer a cost savings to patients, he said, but only because the high deductibles discourages patients from seeking care. That, in turn, can create health problems down the road.

Sood's study is the latest in a series examining CDHPs, which have recently gained traction in the health insurance market. In 2006, CDHPs made up 4 percent of the total employer-provided heath insurance plans in the U.S. By 2010the latest date that statistics were availablethat had jumped to 17 percent.

"CDHPs are gaining market share and the trend will likely continue. We need more aggressive price and quality transparency initiatives coupled with high deductibles to increase consumerism in health care" Sood said.


Contact: Robert Perkins
University of Southern California

Related medicine news :

1. Physician Groups Call for Fewer Medical Tests
2. Weill Cornell Medical College establishes Center for Healthcare Informatics and Policy
3. CAM therapy combined with conventional medical care may improve treatment of lower back pain
4. Image share project gives patients and physicians anytime, anywhere access to medical images
5. Researchers determine vitamin D blood level for reducing major medical risks in older adults
6. Biomedical researchers receive Hartwell Foundation awards
7. Columbia University Medical Center and NY-Presbyterian experts at APA meeting
8. Fitness in Middle Age Lowers Medical Costs Later: Study
9. Ben-Gurion U. and Cincinnati Childrens Hospital to develop pediatric-specific medical technologies
10. Gene Tests May Not Drive Patients to More Medical Care
11. University studies and career expectations of medical students
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, ... Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. ... skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method ... —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World ... with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center ... with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... with the American Cancer Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer ... to seniors and other adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Grove Investment Group (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production ... and Pahrump, Nevada. , Puradigm is the manufacturer of a complete system of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 ... announced the addition of the " Global Markets ... This report focuses ... an updated review, including its applications in various applications. ... market, which includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Calif. , June 24, 2016  American Respiratory Labs (ARL), ... is now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments in patients, homes, ... , Inc. Patients are no longer limited to ... EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne R. of ... in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 ... the appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher ... Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher was ... Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive member ... independent expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: