When asked to choose a health care provider based only on cost, consumers choose the more expensive option, according to a new study funded by HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) that appears in the March issue of Health Affairs. The study found that consumers equate cost with quality and worry that lower cost means lower quality care. But higher costs may indicate unnecessary services or inefficiencies, so cost information alone does not help consumers get the best value for their health care dollar, according to the study. The study, entitled “An Experiment Shows That a Well-Designed Report on Costs and Quality Can Help Consumers Choose High-Value Health Care,” found that when consumers were shown the right mix of cost and quality information, they were better able to choose high-value health care providers—defined as those who deliver high-quality care at a lower cost.
AHRQ Study Finds Consumers Choose High-Value Health Care Providers When Given Good Cost and Quality Information
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