Evidence about impacts of large increases in patient cost-sharing on health care utilization, equity and financial burden |

Evidence about impacts of large increases in patient cost-sharing on health care utilization, equity and financial burden

Synopsis:

In the United States, where most people under age 65 are insured by employer-based commercial health plans, payers and employers are increasingly turning to high-deductible health plans (HDHP) to control rapidly rising health care costs. Compared with traditional plans, HDHPs have relatively low premiums but subject most services to annual deductible of at least $1000. Membership in HDHPs tripled between 2006 and 2010, and 27% of workers and their families now have HDHPs. Impending national health insurance reform could cause an explosion in HDHP growth. The effects of HDHPs on health care utilization, costs, and health are controversial. Some suggest that HDHPs will decrease necessary health care, causing adverse health outcomes and increased longer-term costs. In a series of studies using longitudinal quasi-experimental controlled designs in a commercial health plan in New England, we  have examined the impact of employer-mandated switching to an HDHP from a traditional plan on use of both expensive services (emergency department visits, hospitalization, maternity care) and less expensive care (physician office visits, medications), as well as socioeconomic disparities. We have also surveyed HDHP members to examine family dynamics in health resource allocation, deferral of care, and financial burden. These studies provides the best evidence to date in this increasingly important health policy area.

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Speaker(s):

Assoc Prof Dennis Ross-Degnan, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Director of Research, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute

Date:
Thursday, 21 July 2011
Time:
12.15 p.m. - 1.30 p.m.
Venue:

Seminar Room 3-5
Level 3, Manasseh Meyer
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
469C Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259772

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