Consumer-driven impact study

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By Jack P. Burke, Robert J. Pipich | 01 April 2008

Do consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) help reduce healthcare costs?

Many have opined on this issue but actual experience has been lacking. So Milliman, in partnership with the National Business Group on Health (NBGH), undertook the industry's first independent, risk-adjusted study of six employers' CDHPs.

The results show that CDHPs are creating savings for employers of 4.8%. After adjusting for induced utilization typically found in high-deductible plans, the additional savings amount to 1.5%. The more significant savings should not be dismissed, however, because induced utilization is a key component of the savings strategy inherent to consumer-driven health plans.

These results reinforce the need for better consumer information. Actual savings are likely to increase when people have the patient education resources they need to truly compare and shop for health care based on quality and cost.