Accelerated by the Affordable Care Act, high-deductible health plans have emerged as a major trend in healthcare. Placing more financial responsibility on patients for medical services has a direct impact on physician practices.
Studies have shown that consumers exercise greater caution in spending when health plans require them to share more of the costs, according to The Rand Corporation, a research organization that has conducted the largest independent study of high-deductible health plans.
High-deductible coverage “really does reduce people’s healthcare costs and use. About two-thirds of the reduction is in number of episodes of care, and about one-third of the reduction is in the cost per episode,” says Amelia M. Haviland, PhD, an adjunct senior statistician with Rand and an associate professor of statistics and health policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
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