What does it mean to “”shop”” for healthcare? What makes shopping for healthcare difficult for most people? What would make it easier?
When it comes to an individual’s healthcare needs, affordability and quality are two of the main characteristics that people focus on. “According to a 2017 report by the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 40% of adults 18-64 with employer-sponsored health insurance had high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). And it makes sense — for relatively healthy people, HDHPs offer lower monthly premiums, and good coverage of basic preventive care. This is a wise spending decision, if you’re relatively healthy (HAS).” Shopping around for healthcare can mean a few different things. One can shop around for the best quality of care, one could shop around for the most affordable care, and one could shop around for something in between the two. What makes shopping around for care so difficult is the amount of time it takes, the resources available to research the information, proximity to the patient in relation to the type of care in which they are seeking. If there is only one hospital in a 150 mile radius, it is going to be hard to shop around for the best quality or affordability due to the fact that if a patient is in dire need, they will not have to option to seek care elsewhere. However, if a patient is in a well populated or big city, there are multitudes of healthcare services that they can search around for and decide which organization best first their needs. What would make this easier is if insurance companies would provide a list of providers for various services that patients could call ahead of time to see what best fits their needs. I know emergencies happen, however, being prepared is key when it comes to healthcare.
HAS Store. (2017). Future Healthy: Approaching health care costs like a consumer. Retrieved from: https://hsastore.com/learn/basics/healthcare-costs-consumer