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How Much Will It Cost? How Americans Use Prices in Health Care

How many Americans are trying to find how much their health care will cost them? How are they using the information they find? Public Agenda wanted to know and conducted a representative survey of Americans to find the answers.

Here are key results from their survey:

  • Over half of Americans [56%] say they’ve tried to determine their out-of-pocket costs before getting care.
  • Most Americans are open to looking for better-value care, with 71% indicating higher prices are not typically a sign of better quality care.
  • Looking for price information does not necessarily mean comparing prices.
  • For those who have compared prices, most believe it has saved them money.
  • Obstacles to increasing more cost comparisons exist. Half of Americans are unsure how to find price information. Over half [57%] don’t think doctors in their network charge differently for the same service.
  • Insurers and providers could do more to help Americans manage their health care costs. Most [69%] thought a website showing different charges would be helpful.

Further details are available in the report.

Source: How much will it cost? How Americans use prices in health care. Public Agenda, March 2015. http://www.publicagenda.org/files/HowMuchWillItCost_PublicAgenda_2015.pdf

Related resource: Transparency for consumers: a hospital toolkit. American Hospital Association, July 2014. http://www.ahacommunityconnections.org/content/14transparencytoolkit.pdf

Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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