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Start-Ups Are Helping Consumers Make Better Healthcare Purchases

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For years, one prescription to healthcare woes in the United States has been to shift costs to consumers, on the theory that this will cause them to make more cost-effective decisions. As this experiment plays out in real life, however, a different reality is unfolding.

For years, one prescription to healthcare woes in the United States has been to shift costs to consumers. The logic is simple: Because patients currently do not bear the expense of most of their decisions, shifting expenses to them will cause them to make more rational, cost-effective decisions and will ultimately help bring about a more functional health care market.

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As this experiment plays out in real life, however, a different reality is unfolding. While patients are paying more and more out of pocket for care, key challenges stand in the way of them operating as effective consumers. Fortunately, a number of innovative start-up companies are arising to address this problem.

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