Empower Health Care Consumers
APRIL 26, 2017 BY NATIONAL COALITION ON HEALTH CARE
More Americans comparison-shop for their auto mechanics than for their doctors. Yet, prices for health care services vary greatly within geographic areas and are not consistently linked to quality. This indicates that if consumers were empowered to choose high value providers and services, they could receive better care and save money. Within the U.S., the increasing prevalence of high deductible health plans and health savings accounts along with continued upward price trends makes it imperative for consumers to spend their health care dollars wisely. Lack of price and quality transparency presents a major barrier to consumer engagement. Access to information is only a first step, though. Value-based insurance design, which aligns consumers’ incentives with value, can further improve health care outcomes and affordability.