Comparing procedure costs impacts patients’ health facility choice

Consumers who used a health insurance plan’s cost-comparison tool to find out sleep study costs and imaging costs chose medical facilities that charged lower prices for the procedures, according to a Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health study. However, only a small number of the plan members studied used the tool.

The Research Letter was published online October 24, 2016, in JAMA Internal Medicine.

“Engaging patients with price information will be important to allow patients to better anticipate and plan their medical spending and to achieve a broad impact on health care spending,” wrote the authors, who were led by Anna Sinaiko, research scientist in the Department of Health Policy & Management at Harvard Chan School.

Read an October 26, 2016 article on Searching for Price Info Affects Choice of Health Care Facility

Read an October 24, 2016 interview with Sinaiko on Very Few Patients Take Advantage of Health Care Pricing Tools