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Patients' Views on Price Shopping and Price Transparency
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Patients' Views on Price Shopping and Price Transparency

Hannah L. Semigran, BA; Rebecca Gourevitch, MS; Anna D. Sinaiko, PhD; David Cowling, PhD; and Ateev Mehrotra, MD, MPH
The authors interviewed patients with access to a price transparency website. Despite a positive opinion of price shopping in theory, respondents reported barriers to doing so in reality.
We found a disconnect between respondents’ general enthusiasm for price shopping and their reported use of a price transparency tool. Respondents cited many barriers to using price information when choosing care, including the salience of the idea of price shopping for care and other factors, such as provider loyalty, that were more important than price. A better understanding of how individuals view their role as healthcare consumers and use price information to shop for care can be used to tailor ongoing and future price transparency initiatives.

Author Affiliations: Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School (HLS, RG, AM), Boston, MA; Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (ADS), Boston, MA; Center for Innovation, California Public Employees’ Retirement System (DC), Sacramento, CA; Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (AM), Boston, MA.

Source of Funding: Dr Cowling has attended a Castlight Advisory Board meeting; Castlight is a vendor of a California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) health plan. This study was funded by CalPERS.

Author Disclosures: The remaining authors report no relationship or financial interest with any entity that would pose a conflict of interest with the subject matter of this article.

Authorship Information: Concept and design (DC, RG, AM, ADS, HLS); acquisition of data (DC, RG, AM, ADS, HLS); analysis and interpretation of data (RG, AM, ADS, HLS); drafting of the manuscript (HLS); critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content (DC, RG, AM, ADS, HLS); provision of patients or study materials (HLS); obtaining funding (AM); administrative, technical, or logistic support (DC, RG, HLS).

Address Correspondence to: Ateev Mehrotra, MD, MPH, Harvard Medical School, 180 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail: mehrotra@hcp.med.harvard.edu.
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