Providers of healthcare cost transparency tools need to look beyond the cost factor alone if they are to advise patients effectively, research shows.
Chicago, IL (PRWEB) April 14, 2014
A study conducted jointly by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Evive Health, a leader in personalized health engagement solutions, shows that patients making decisions about where to have routine procedures value practical variables such as driving distance and the presence of a physicians referral enough to willingly spend hundreds of extra dollars even when less expensive alternatives are available.
The study has major implications for providers of healthcare cost transparency tools, said Prashant Srivastava, chief operating officer of Evive Health. It shows that cost itself isnt necessarily the main factor driving a patients decision. Instead, we see patients acting as consumers, weighing driving distance and other practical aspects before selecting a facility.
Transparency tools promise to steer consumers toward better choices, a promise that can only be realized if the bigger picture surrounding a consumers decision-making process is considered.
The U of C and Evive Health study looked at how patients trade off factors including distance from home, out-of-pocket cost and the presence of a doctors referral when choosing a facility for MRIs.
Conjoint analysis of 237 consumers revealed for the average patient a facility 40 minutes closer to home was worth spending $ 154 extra out of pocket, and the security of a doctors referral would be enough to overcome a similar facility without the referral even if the latter was $ 205 less.
One important implication garnered from our study is that its worth asking the patient if their physician has already recommended a facility for the procedure, added Srivastava. This information, coupled with mileage tradeoff, could be incorporated to retrieve best match results for the individual.
Metaphorically speaking, users of dating websites dont single out their dating preferences on height alone, or solely on location. They gather their preferences, trade off factors, and then select their best match. The same is happening in healthcare. Patients dont simply opt for the lowest cost, but make complex decisions based on many practical variables.
It is this array of variables that cost transparency providers need to incorporate in their system, showing patients options that match their criteria not just whats least expensive.
This study highlights our commitment to understanding the complexities of decision-making in healthcare, said Peter Saravis, CEO of Evive Health. Insights like these enable us to develop best-in-class decision support tools in an evolving healthcare market.
Based in downtown Chicago, and founded in 2007, Evive Health is the industry innovator in healthcare engagement. Through personalized, timely communications, Evive Health works with some of the worlds largest companies to increase employee adherence, health and wellness, and reduce costs.
For more information about Evive Health visit http://www.evivehealth.com.
For more information contact Jeavon Hunter at jeavon(at)evivehealth(dot)com or on (312) 374-9150 (x116).
Notes to editors:
Evive Health, LLC is a technology-enabled healthcare engagement company that uses evidence-based analytics and consumer science to create highly personalized, timely communications to increase adherence, reduce costs and improve quality of care across the continuum of care.
Evive serves a broad spectrum of clients across 50 states, including 16 Fortune 500 companies (eight in the Fortune 100) and two of the top 10 privately held companies.
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Over 3.3 million people are routinely moved to health and wellness improvement activities as a result of Evive Healths personalized communications.