One size should not fit all when it comes to our out-of-pocket health care costs

Excerpt from IHPI press release:

article-imageAnn Arbor, MI — If you’ve tried to see a doctor, fill a prescription or get a diagnostic test lately, you’ve probably had to pay more out of your own pocket than you would have even a few years ago.  Most insurance plans have increased their co-pays and deductivles, to keep monthly premiums from rising even faster.

But a pair of experts who have studied this trend see a lost opportunity to give you – and all health care consumers — the right incentives to use the services that are most likely to improve your health.

Rather than charging all patients the same amount for every doctor visit, diagnostic test, and prescription drug, out-of-pocket costs should be based on how much a specific clinical service improves health, say Mark Fendrick, M.D. of the University of Michigan and Michael Chernew, Ph.D. of Harvard University.

In a new JAMA article, they lay out key steps that public and private insurance providers could take to alter consumer cost-sharing from ‘one-size-fits-all’ to a more ‘clinically nuanced’ model, based on individual patient and provider factors… Read More