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Consumer-Driven Health News

Study: Out-of-Pocket Health Costs Rose Slightly Last Year

Out-of-pocket healthcare costs have increased modestly over the last year, according to a new study published in Health Affairs on July 7. The total amount of money that a patient spent per visit increased 3.5 percent over the last year. That amounts to about $1 per visit, including copayments and deductibles.

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45 States Get an F on Healthcare Price Transparency

The Catalyst for Payment Reform and the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute have released their third annual report card on state price transparency laws, and once again, a majority of states received received a failing grade—45 to be exact. Two years ago, only 29 states received Fs.

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Shopping Around for Best Medical Prices

As consumers at the store, people like to have plenty of choices and they like to know the cost of those choices. The healthcare marketplace is no different. Medical price websites are on the rise in response to a growing demand for transparency. These sites help patients find cash prices for certain medical procedures.

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Employee Well-Being the New Benefit Mantra

Many employers are re-evaluating their benefit strategies, using a mix of traditional cost-shifting approaches and new network and plan design strategies to combat those rising costs. Over 60 percent of employers have either implemented or are considering implementing a high-deductible health plan as the only option for employees over the next three years. Eighty-seven percent, meanwhile, are committed to worksite wellness programs.

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FSAs and HSAs Gaining, HRAs Lagging

Nine in 10 employers now offer Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts are picking up steam, and Health Reimbursement Arrangement are slow to get off the launch pad. These trends are part of "FSA, HSA & HRA Report: Trends & Predictions," a nationwide survey conducted by Flexible Benefit Services Corp.

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