Center for Studying Health System Change

Providing Insights that Contribute to Better Health Policy


Insurance Coverage & Costs Costs The Uninsured Private Coverage Employer Sponsored Individual Public Coverage Medicare Medicaid and SCHIP Access to Care Quality & Care Delivery Health Care Markets Issue Briefs Data Bulletins Research Briefs Policy Analyses Community Reports Journal Articles Other Publications Surveys Site Visits Design and Methods Data Files

Shopping for Price in Medical Care

Feb. 6, 2007
Health Affairs, Web exclusive
Paul B. Ginsburg

Insurers are well positioned to support their enrollees in shopping for care because of their ability to analyze complex data—reflecting both their negotiated discounts and the enrollee’s benefit structure—should they decide to commit resources to this task. Government transparency initiatives can help those who are uninsured or want to use out-of-network providers with data on prices and all patients by gathering and disseminating data on quality. But clumsy requirements to disclose insurer-provider contracts could lead to higher prices. Greater price transparency might help curb rising costs, but many overstate the likely magnitude of its contribution.

Free access to this article, funded by the California HealthCare Foundation, is available at the CHCF Web site by clicking here.



Back to Top
Site Last Updated: 9/15/2014             Privacy Policy
The Center for Studying Health System Change Ceased operation on Dec. 31, 2013.