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VOLUME 47 | NUMBER 1.2 | FEBRUARY 2012


Value-Based Insurance Design: More Health at Any Price

Keywords: Health care organizations and systems;clinical practice patterns/guidelines/resource use/evidence-based practice;health care financing/insurance/premiums;health policy/politics/law/regulation;incentives in health care.

When everyone is required to pay the same out-of-pocket amount for health care services regardless of clinical indication, there is evidence of underuse of high-value services and overuse of interventions of no or marginal clinical benefit. Unlike most current health plan designs, value-based insurance design (V-BID) acknowledges heterogeneity of clinical interventions and patient characteristics. It encourages the use of services with strong evidence of clinical benefit and likewise discourages the use of low-value services. Implementing this concept into the national policy debate required a strategy that included conceptual framework development, program implementation, rigorous evaluation, media outreach, and an advocacy plan. Upon completion of this strategy involving several colleagues from multiple disciplines, Congress included language specifically authorizing V-BID in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. A wide-ranging approach, planned as early as possible, can lead to the successful translation of health services research to policy.

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