More Health Plan Users Investigate Prices for Services

By SHRM Online staff June 12, 2012

An increasing number of Americans (16 percent as of mid-2012) are seeking pricing information before receiving health care services, up from 11 percent in 2010, according to theThomson Reuters-NPR Health Poll: Price Transparency Report.

The poll results represent responses from 3,008 Americans interviewed from April 2-14, 2012. Respondents were asked about price transparency for health care. Among the results comparing responses in 2012 vs. 2010:

  • Health care services used at a similar rate: 81 percent of respondents said a household member had received some kind of health care service in the past year, a figure in line with the 80 percent figure respondents reported in 2010.

  • Frequency of seeking out health care price information: Of households that received a health care service in the past 12 months, 16 percent indicated they had sought pricing information before receiving the service—an increase from 11 percent in 2010.

  • Where pricing information was obtained: Among those who sought out health care pricing information, 50 percent received it from their physician’s office (down from 60 percent in 2010) while 49 percent received it from their insurance companies (up from 26 percent).

  • How pricing information was obtained: 45 percent of respondents who said they found pricing information said they used the Internet, up from 22 percent in 2010.

  • Accuracy of pricing information: 86 percent who received pricing information found their initial quote to be accurate, down from 98 percent in 2010. However, higher accuracy rates were reported by older respondents.

Related Article:

Seeking Transparency (Health Care Costs and Quality), HR Magazine, September 2012

HSA Plan Growth Continues; Most Provide Decision-Support Tools, SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, June 2012

Treatment Costs for 'Shoppable' Procedures Vary Widely, SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, March 2012

Health Care Consumerism Needs Transparent Cost, Quality Data, SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, April 2011

Quick Links:

SHRM Online Benefits Discipline

SHRM Online Health Care Reform Resource Page

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