Cooperating for better care.

News & Views

Americans look more skeptical about cost-quality link

Share this:



Americans may be becoming more skeptical  and careful consumers of healthcare.

Most people in a U.S. questioned for a study said that healthcare costs weren’t necessarily tied to quality.

That (and greater price transparency) is good news.

“It’s really important to know how people are perceiving price and quality,” said  the lead author, healthcare economist Kathryn Phillips, Ph.D., of the University of California at San Francisco said in a HealthAffairs piece. “If you don’t know how they perceive price and quality then we don’t know how they will use price information.”

Still, the proportion of people who said there is no link varied according to how the question was worded of the question.

For example,  reported Reuters, 71 percent said “higher price is typically not a sign of better care. But 40 percent thought a doctor might be providing lower-quality care if he charged less than other doctors for a service.”

“That suggests we need to think about how we describe things to consumers in order to help them understand what’s being asked,” said Ms. Phillips.

“We need to develop the right tools and policies to help consumers use this information. You can’t just assume you can put price information out there and people are going to be able to use it,”


Contact Info

(617) 230-4965

Wellesley, Mass