Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What Is Consumer-Directed Health Care?

What Is Consumer-Directed Health Care?
Comparing patient power with other decision mechanisms.
by John C. Goodman

ABSTRACT: To control health care costs, someone must choose between health care and
other uses of money. The value of most health care is experienced subjectively, as is the
value of other goods and services. No one is in a better position to make these subjective
trade-offs than patients themselves. The current system not only systematically denies patients
the opportunity to make such choices, it distorts the incentives of providers in the
process. Chronic patients in particular would be much better off if they could manage more
of their own health care dollars and if providers were free to compete to meet their needs.

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