Factors Affecting Medical Trends: Deflators
Healthcare price shopping
The prevalence of high-deductible health plans is spawning a new class of healthcare shoppers: price sensitive and willing to consider that less may be more. Families in high-deductible health plans use fewer brand name drugs, pursue lower-cost care venues such as retail clinics and visit doctors less frequently.
- Aetna, Humana, and United Healthcare together with the Health Care Cost Institute, an organization that uses private health insurance claims data to analyze cost trends, recently announced they will create a consumer website that makes price ranges and average reimbursement for services available for consumer reference.
- With more readily available price information, physicians may be more likely to consult with patients regarding treatment options. In addition to consumers making smarter decisions, a new report estimates that the industry having better access to price information could save $18 billion over ten years.