Saturday August 30, 2014

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Consumer-Driven Health News

Shopping for Your Health Care: Can You Tell if the Price Is Right?

For decades, patients have received care without really knowing what it costs. The movement towards added transparency and awareness create the potential for patients to shop for their care in ways that have never before been possible. At least for now, however, shopping thoughtfully for your health care will remain far more difficult than the click of a few buttons. Data is good, but using what we have now to shop for health care is still premature for a few reasons.

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When Health Care Prices Stop Being Hidden, and Start Getting Real

Over the past two years the Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans have been running a quiet experiment, to see what would happen if prices became available in some cities but not others. And they found that just the act of making prices available can have a really dramatic impact on what they had to spend to get patients a very basic procedure.

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5 Reasons We Can't Predict the Future of Health Costs

It is, without a doubt, one of the most important questions for federal budget policy: how quickly will health spending grow? If the recent slowdown persists, it could change everything we think we know about the nation's deficit — but whether it will last is also vexingly difficult to figure out. How much the country spends of health care is influenced by a variety of factors.

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Study Critical of Wellness ROI Results

A review of studies conducted to test the return on investment of corporate wellness programs determined that, the higher the “quality” of the study, the lower the ROI of company programs. The new analysis concluded that more thorough studies of the financial returns derived from corporate wellness plans revealed costs that often went unreported and thus the true financial benefits to the employer were lower than more superficial studies had indicated.

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CDHP Analysis Shows Cost Savings

Consumers who switched from a traditional plan to a consumer driven health plan saved money and more efficiently utilized health care services, according to a new analysis from the Health Care Service Corporation, which tracked more than 316,000 individual Blue Cross and Blue Shield members. Its main finding? That “those migrating to a CDHP plan not only saw cost savings in the first year but continued to experience even lower health costs years later.”

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