Insurance customers are putting more of an emphasis on pricing information when shopping for healthcare plans, a recent survey indicates.
According to a monthly poll conducted jointly by Thomson Reuters and National Public Radio, of those individuals who had some kind of healthcare service in the past 12 months, 16 percent sought out pricing information before they took advantage of care that the plan provided for. When a virtually identical poll was conducted in 2010, just 11 percent were proactive about pricing.
What researchers discovered appeared to be compelling, as the poll found that 70 percent of those who sought out pricing data said it ultimately affected the insurance company they chose. Just 26 percent responded similarly two years ago.
"It is encouraging that people are increasingly incorporating cost information into their decision-making process when determining which healthcare services they should seek and from which providers," said Thomson Reuters chief medical officer Raymond Fabius. "As more pricing information becomes widely available, along with quality comparisons, and more providers and health plans share their data transparently, we will see the emergence of a healthcare system that is more competitive and ultimately more sustainable."