A recent Health Affairs blog post suggests reference pricing could not only promote provider competition, but also encourage patients to shop for health care services.
Most consumers, according to the post, opt out of price shopping despite the potential cost savings. Reference pricing, the authors write, could be a solution.
“Under reference pricing, the insurer sets a reference price, and the patient pays standard cost sharing if he or she goes to a provider with a price below the reference price,” the post states. “However, the patient pays the difference between the provider price and the reference price as additional out-of-pocket costs if he or she goes to a provider with a price above the reference price.”
The pricing model “forces consumers to make a financial tradeoff between going to more expensive providers and saving money.”
To read the full blog post, click here.