Ano is a Justmeans staff writer for health, and an instructional designer for the newly created Master of Health Care Delivery program (mhcds.dartmouth.edu) at Dartmouth College. Ano brings over a decade of evidenced-based health research and writing, and a Masters of Public Health from Dartmouth Medical School to the Justmeans Editorial section. Special interests include health policy, conflict ...
Do High Deductible Health Plans Reduce Cost?
Health reform and health care redesign inevitably fixates on reducing costs. Yes, there's always the idea that we might improve quality and safety, but in the end costs become a major driver for change.
In some cases its unclear whether certain approaches that look good on paper will really work in practice. Some $20 billion and a lot of hope has been placed on the promise of electronic medical records (EMR) to reduce costs and improve quality of care, for example. But its still not clear if they will improve quality, and they are associated with significant implementation costs. And despite government incentives, implementation is still costly.
Some have argued for high deductible health insurance plans as a way of "sharing" costs with consumers, as well as discouraging unnecessary utilization of costly care.
So do high deductible plans really reduce costs? The short 80 second video blog below summarizes a new study from RAND that tried to answer this question.