Women are the Drivers in Healthcare Shopping

For some time now, a chief complaint among employers has been, “How do we get employees to care about their healthcare benefits and the associated costs?”  For anyone who’s read this blog, you know that I’m a bit obsessed with that mission as well.

Last week I read two new research reports that allude to an increasing consumer involvement in healthcare.  Many of the statistics reveal that companies have a real opportunity to be heroes to their employees where cost transparency is concerned. Music to my ears.

  • In the February issue of EBRI Notes, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) reported on its 2010 Health Confidence Survey, concluding that “women, younger individuals and those with more education were more likely than others to seek information on cost, quality and access. It also found that individuals who experienced an increase in either premiums or cost sharing were more likely than those who did not experience such an increase to seek (healthcare) information.” And a quarter of the population looked for costs of different treatments, doctors and hospitals.
  • In another study focused on how employees make healthcare decisions, the National Business Group on Health stated that 75 percent of workers use their employer as a resource for medical and health information. Additionally, 69 percent rate their employers as completely, very or moderately trustworthy sources of health information.

In my judgment, the upshot of both of these studies is that as more consumers (read: employees) are paying a greater share of the cost of healthcare, they’re beginning to seek more information about the quality and cost of care.  We’re seeing this trend reinforced in the use of our Cost Transparency Solution. Data development from the change:healthcare informatics team shows that even in an employee population that is only 37 percent female, more than 50 percent of the employee engagement with the change:healthcare Cost Transparency Solution is through women.

We know that women are responsible for more than 80 percent of healthcare purchase decisions. It’s great to see that play out within our own client base. American’s know how to shop – American women are experts. The healthcare system should cater to women, and shopping.

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One Response to “Women are the Drivers in Healthcare Shopping”

  1. March 10th, 2011 at 3:12 am

    David Yanga M.D. says:

    Thanks for the article. As a primary care physician, many of my patients seek price information when we are formulating a treatment plan. After extensive research, I launched http://www.HealthScepter.com in order to encapsulate the best of cash medicine on the web. By focusing on cash pricing and transparency, substantial cost reduction can be realized in the U.S. healthcare system. Have fun shopping on HealthScepter!

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