Volume 53 | Number S1 | August 2018

Abstract List

Xinke Zhang Ph.D., Amelia Haviland Ph.D., Ateev Mehrotra M.D.,M.P.H., Peter Huckfeldt Ph.D., Zachary Wagner Ph.D., Neeraj Sood Ph.D


To investigate whether enrollment in high‐deductible health plans (s) led enrollees to choose lower‐priced providers for office visits and laboratory tests.

Study Setting

Claims data from more than 40 large employers.

Study Design

We compared the change in price for office visits and laboratory tests for enrollees who switched to s versus enrollees who remained in traditional plans. We estimated separate models for enrollees who changed providers versus those who remained with the same provider to disentangle the effects of s on provider choice and negotiated prices.

Data Collection

Claims data from 2004 to 2010 on 1.8 million enrollees.

Principal Findings

After enrollment in s, 28 percent of enrollees changed physicians for office visits (compared to 19 percent in the Traditional Plan group,  < .01); however, this did not result in a statistically significant reduction in price for office visits. About 25 percent of enrollees changed providers for laboratory tests (compared to 23 percent in the Traditional Plan group,  < .01), resulting in savings of about $2.09 or a 12.8 percent reduction in price per laboratory test. We found that s had lower negotiated prices for office visits but not for laboratory tests.


High‐deductible health plan enrollment may shift enrollees to lower cost providers, resulting in modest savings.