Navigation Links
Members of consumer-driven health plans choosing less care
Date:7/7/2008

Consumer-driven health plans (CDHP) -- hailed since their inception in 2000 as a tool to help control costs -- are resulting in members forgoing care and discontinuing drugs to treat chronic medical problems, according to two newly published studies.

Under employer-offered CDHPs, members pay up-front deductibles either out-of-pocket or from a dedicated health-care account before insurance coverage begins. Proponents -- including President Bush and presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain -- argue that consumers in a market-oriented approach will make better health-care choices and drive health-care costs down by doing cost comparisons and accessing information about their conditions. Critics argue that people will instead opt out of important care.

The new research -- published in Health Affairs and led by two University of Oregon policy experts -- offers partial fuel to critics: Many CDHP enrollees were more likely to quit taking drugs that control high blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering medications than were participants with over medical coverage, said Jessica Greene, professor of health policy in the UO's department of planning, public policy and management.

"CDHPs seem to influence people because of the higher out-of-pocket costs, but not by making people more informed health-care consumers," Greene said. "We did not see more use of health information, higher generic drug use or more comparison shopping in terms of diagnostic tests as predicted by proponents. What we did see was that people were two to three times more likely to drop off drugs that treat certain chronic illnesses.

"By cutting back on antihypertensive and lipid-lowering drugs," she added, "there may end up being higher health-care costs in the long run, so these consumers may be making short-sighted, cost-saving decisions that may have higher-cost and unfortunate health ramifications."

The medications dropped by consumers are considered asymptomatic, meaning discontinuance doesn't spark a quick return of symptoms. Researchers also looked at claims involving symptomatic medications for three other chronic conditions -- asthma, depression and ulcers -- but did not see evidence that these drugs were being discontinued at higher rates in the CDHPs.

Greene and Judith Hibbard, a departmental colleague at the UO, were co-authors on both papers in the peer-reviewed journal that explores current health policy issues. The studies separately examined claims data and survey responses of services offered under health-care plans offered to employees of a large Midwest manufacturer.

Survey data allowed researchers to focus on enrollee behavior in both high- and low-deductible CDHPs and a preferred provider plan. They found that enrollees in high-deductible plans were more likely to engage in risky cost-saving behavior by forgoing doctor's visits to save money. An alarming trend, researchers noted, was that in the second year of the study even some enrollees of a lower-deductible CDHP plan began to postpone or delay medical procedures or to take lower-than-prescribed doses of prescription drugs to save money.

To address these trends, researchers recommend that employers offering CDHPs consider exemptions that would allow employees to get immediate coverage for drugs related to chronic diseases. Uncertainties in federal law regarding which chronic diseases would be allowed under such exemptions need to be revisited by Congress, Greene said.

Researchers also suggest that health-care providers and insurers regularly review claims to pinpoint patients who are forgoing medicine and/or treatment and follow up with alerts to both patients and their physicians about such risky choices.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Barlow
jebarlow@uoregon.edu
541-346-3481
University of Oregon
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. AARP Poll: California Members Want Health Care Reform THIS YEAR
2. AARP Launches New Fitness Website for AARP Members - AARPfitness.com
3. Independence Blue Cross Makes Music for Members Ears
4. National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) Members Take Their Case to Capitol Hill
5. Governor Rendell Appoints Members of Chronic Care Commission as Part of Prescription for PA
6. Union Members Hold Demonstrations at Philadelphia Nursing Home
7. Health Care Service Corporation Provides Personal Clinical Summaries to Members of its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas
8. Shop n Save Pharmacy Helps Vitalize Members of Wellness-based Health Insurance Plan
9. EHRVA Members Collaborate to Demonstrate Interoperability Success at NCHICA
10. CIGNA Behavioral Health Offers Members Online Provider Profiles
11. New Members Named to URACs Board of Directors
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Members of consumer-driven health plans choosing less care
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple ... care services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster ... Fire Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s ... Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s ... The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the ... danger possible to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains ... a dedicated teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and ... plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway ... store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Asante, a nationally recognized health system in ... existing home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October 1, 2017, to ... home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for the past eight ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... -- NDS received FDA 510(k) clearance in May 2017 for its highly ... designed for endoscopy environments. An innovative secondary monitor solution, ZeroWire ... support the improvement of patient outcomes, procedural efficiency, and the lowering ... ... ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product Development Company ... "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will educate the user ... with better efficiency compared to the dated and pricey ... on efficacy of the compression for a more informed ... goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. ... day with the investment community and media to further ... call will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, ... webcast of the conference call through a link that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: