Friday, October 16, 2015

It's the "Dismal Science" for a reason

Continuing my new habit of simply cribbing from everybody else (typing is hard!) combined with complaining about sciencevia Charlie Pierce:

Economists Zarek Brot-Goldberg, Amitabh Chandra, Benjamin Handel, and Jonathan Kolstad studied a firm that, in 2013, shifted tens of thousands of workers into high-deductible insurance plans. This was a perfect moment to look at how their patterns of care changed — whether they did, in fact, use the new shopping tools their employer gave them to compare prices. Turns out they didn't. The new paper shows that when faced with a higher deductible, patients did not price shop for a better deal. Instead, both healthy and sick patients simply used way less health care. "I am a little bit surprised at just how poorly patients were able to do when looking at very similar products, like MRI scans, and with a shopping tool," says Kolstad, an economist at University of California Berkeley and one of the study's co-author. "Two years in, and there's still no evidence they're price shopping."
No shit, Sherlock!

Who the hell are these people?  Even the "reasonable person" standard of the law is more reasonable than this!

Because the first question I ask when I need medical care is not "I want a second opinion," but:  "I want to compare price points."  Doesn't everybody choose medical care the same way they choose soap?

1 comment:

  1. As Echidne always says, healthcare is not like buying bread. Nor is it a peanut butter sammich. God, how I hate crunchy peanut butter.