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The Washington Post: Need A Medical Procedure? Pick The Right Provider And Get Cash Back

“‘… If insurance plans were serious about saving money, they would have been doing this stuff years ago,’ said Josh Archambault, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability, a limited-government advocacy group based in Naples, Fla., that promotes such ‘right-to-shop’ laws. ‘This starts to peel back the black box in health care and make the conversation about value.’

Still, some economists caution that shop-around initiatives alone cannot force the level of market-based change needed. While such shopping may make a difference for individual employers, they note it represents a tiny drop of the $3.3 trillion spent on health care in the U.S. each year.

‘These are not crazy ideas,’ said David Asch, professor of medicine, medical ethics and health policy at the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation in Philadelphia. But it’s hard to get consumers to change behavior — and curbing health care spending is an even bigger task. Shopping incentives, he warned, ‘might be less effective than you think.’

If they achieve nothing else, though, such efforts could help remove barriers to price transparency, said Francois de Brantes, vice president at the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, a nonprofit that designs benefit programs. ‘I think this could be quite the breakthrough,’ he said.”

Read the rest of the article at The Washington Post.