Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Question: Does Making People Pay More Out of Pocket for Reduce Health Care Spending? Answer: Yes, but...

 Starting in 1971 and concluding in 1986, the RAND Corporation conducted the largest study ever done on health insurance in the United States. Its findings were landmark and serious. The study basically looked at 4 groups of people, divided by how much out of pocket each group would pay for their health care.

Would the people that paid less or nothing for their health care spend more than those who paid more? A popular idea then and now is that if you make people pay more for their healthcare, they will use less of it, thereby lowering total healthcare spending in the country.

The findings have not produced a universally held interpretation of the study. Dr. Aaron Carroll, in this week's Healthcare Triage, discusses the study and why some savings from higher out of pocket expenses aren't necessarily without consequences. At times, serious consequences...


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