Friday October 24, 2014

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Consumer-Driven Health News

Patients, Physicians Narrowing Gap on Consumer-Driven Care

Patients and consumers in healthcare are more inclined to incorporate new technologies into the delivery system than the physicians who administer most of the care, but the gap between the two is shrinking as more physicians embrace the consumer-driven model. The movement toward consumer-driven healthcare shouldn’t be all that surprising, but it’s transpiring quickly and will only accelerate, so physicians shouldn’t act surprised.

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How to Make Healthcare Pricing Transparent

Healthcare organizations are earnestly trying to help consumers shop for services. Those efforts are being met with a collective yawn. According to a 2013 survey by Catalyst for Payment Reform, 98 percent of health plans offer cost calculator tools, but only 2 percent of members actually use them.

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Consumers Ultimately Set Health Care Costs

Americans are increasingly aware of our uniquely high prices in health care. There’s only one problem: most health experts get cause and effect backward. They believe these absurdly high prices are what explain the U.S.’s high health-care tab. But it’s the other way around. America’s unique willingness to pay more for health care — the continuous raising of our demand curve — forces up prices.

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Rethinking Wellness Incentives

Determining the best way to motivate employees to make a long-term commitment to wellness is not always as easy as it sounds. While some employees are eager to participate in workplace changes, wellness incentives may cause negative effects — including resulting in only short-term success, isolating workers and decreasing morale, some industry insiders say.

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Enrollment in High-Deductible Health Plans Keeps Growing

The National Center for Health Statistics said in a new report that enrollment in high-deductible health insurance plans, including consumer-driven health plans, continues to grow. 36% of those under age 65 with private health insurance coverage were enrolled in a high-deductible plan. Of that 36%, one-third were enrolled in high-deductible plans linked to health savings accounts, while two-thirds were enrolled in high-deductible plans not linked to HSAs.

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