0
We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Original Investigation |

Association Between Availability of a Price Transparency Tool and Outpatient Spending

Sunita Desai, PhD1; Laura A. Hatfield, PhD1; Andrew L. Hicks, MS1; Michael E. Chernew, PhD1; Ateev Mehrotra, MD, MPH1,2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
2Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2016;315(17):1874-1881. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.4288.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Importance  There is increasing interest in using price transparency tools to decrease health care spending.

Objective  To measure the association between offering a health care price transparency tool and outpatient spending.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Two large employers represented in multiple market areas across the United States offered an online health care price transparency tool to their employees. One introduced it on April 1, 2011, and the other on January 1, 2012. The tool provided users information about what they would pay out of pocket for services from different physicians, hospitals, or other clinical sites. Using a matched difference-in-differences design, outpatient spending among employees offered the tool (n=148 655) was compared with that among employees from other companies not offered the tool (n=295 983) in the year before and after it was introduced.

Exposure  Availability of a price transparency tool.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Annual outpatient spending, outpatient out-of-pocket spending, use rates of the tool.

Results  Mean outpatient spending among employees offered the tool was $2021 in the year before the tool was introduced and $2233 in the year after. In comparison, among controls, mean outpatient spending changed from $1985 to $2138. After adjusting for demographic and health characteristics, being offered the tool was associated with a mean $59 (95% CI, $25-$93) increase in outpatient spending. Mean outpatient out-of-pocket spending among those offered the tool was $507 in the year before introduction of the tool and $555 in the year after. Among the comparison group, mean outpatient out-of-pocket spending changed from $490 to $520. Being offered the price transparency tool was associated with a mean $18 (95% CI, $12-$25) increase in out-of-pocket spending after adjusting for relevant factors. In the first 12 months, 10% of employees who were offered the tool used it at least once.

Conclusions and Relevance  Among employees at 2 large companies, offering a price transparency tool was not associated with lower health care spending. The tool was used by only a small percentage of eligible employees.

Figures in this Article

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Figures

Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Figure.
Cumulative Price Transparency Tool Use Rates in the 12 Months After Implementation (n = 148 655)

An employee was coded as a user if he or she or anyone else in the family searched the website. Three measures of price transparency tool utilization were defined: users who searched at least once (≥1 log-on), users who searched at least 3 times on different days (≥3 log-ons), and users who searched at least twice (≥2 log-ons) with a 30-day gap between searches.

Graphic Jump Location

Tables

References

CME
Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

4,653 Views
1 Citations
×

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

See Also...
Articles Related By Topic
PubMed Articles
Jobs
JAMAevidence.com

The Rational Clinical Examination: Evidence-Based Clinical Diagnosis
Quick Reference

The Rational Clinical Examination: Evidence-Based Clinical Diagnosis
Quick Reference

brightcove.createExperiences();