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Helping Consumers Make HighValue Health Care Choices: The Devil Is in the Details

With the continued growth of cost sharing in private health insurance plans (Claxton et al. 2016; Cohen, Martinez, and Zammitti 2016) and proliferation of reports about the costs and quality of health care (James 2012; Kullgren, Duey, and Werner 2013), many Americans now routinely face a dizzying array of complex choices about where to receive their health care. Beyond the impact of these choices on the health and pocketbooks of individual consumers, there is hope that reporting of quality and costs can steer consumers to providers and facilities that generate the best health outcomes for the resources utilized. If many consumers use these reports in this way, this could potentially improve the overall value of health care spending.

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