Blog Post | Health Affairs | March 2, 2016

Healthcare Consumerism: Can the Tail Wag the Dog?

Contrary to expectations, giving consumers prices so they can shop for the best value for non-urgent medical services may only have a modest effect on reducing health spending, according to an analysis published in Health Affairs by researchers at the Healthcare Cost Institute and the Hub's Lynn Quincy. 

Although a large portion (43%) of annual healthcare spending is for services in which consumers could shop based on price, less than 7 percent of total spending is actually paid out-of-pocket by consumers for shoppable services. That means for the vast majority of healthcare spending, providing incentives or information to steer consumer behavior will have limited effects on improving the value of the healthcare dollar.

The Health Affairs blog post is available here.