Informing Consumers about Health Care Costs

A Review and Research Agenda

by M. Susan Marquis, David E. Kanouse, Laurel Brodsley

Download

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 4.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback92 pages $25.00 $20.00 20% Web Discount

Many proposals for containing health care costs emphasize the importance of strengthening consumers' financial incentives to shop for low-cost providers or choose efficient health plans. The success of this strategy hinges on consumers' ability to make informed choices. Programs that provide consumers with information that will help them compare providers and health plans may enhance price competition, but will cost something as well. To compare the costs and benefits, it is necessary to consider the extent to which increased information is likely to alter consumers' behavior. To do this, the authors review existing theoretical and empirical research and describe the results of an informal survey of public and private initiatives that are under way to inform consumers about health care costs. They examine the potential effect of hospital price information on patients' choices under strategies of increased patient cost-sharing. They also examine the efforts of private group purchasers to acquire and use information about hospital prices, and analyze the potential role of information in encouraging beneficiaries to select efficient health plans. Finally, they discuss implications for the Medicare program and propose an agenda for future research.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.