Publication Date: March 2005
Publisher: Center for Studying Health System Change
Author(s): Ha T. Tu
Research Area: Health
More Americans are willing to limit their choice of physicians and hospitals to save on out-of-pocket medical costs, according to a new national study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC). Between 2001 and 2003, the proportion of working-age Americans with employer coverage willing to trade broad choice of providers for lower costs increased from 55 percent to 59 percent—after the rate had been stable since 1997. While low-income consumers were most willing to give up provider choice in return for lower costs, even higher-income Americans reported a significant increase in willingness to limit choice. Compared with other adults, people with chronic conditions were only slightly less willing to limit their choice of physicians and hospitals to save on costs. Perhaps as a result of growing out-of-pocket medical expenses in recent years, the proportion of people with chronic conditions willing to trade provider choice for lower costs rose substantially from 51 percent in 2001 to 56 percent in 2003.