Researchers find shopping for medical laboratory tests increased by nearly 50%, and people are saving more than a million dollars annually by shopping for blood tests
Each year, more consumers use online healthcare price-shopping tools to find hospitals, physicians, and clinical laboratories that have the lowest prices. And medical laboratory tests is among the top services on their lists!
Researchers at Vitals of Lyndhurst, NJ, a company that publishes online physician ratings, analyzed how consumers were using its price and quality transparency tools. They confirmed that shopping for medical laboratory tests/blood work is one of the top healthcare procedures checked by consumers.
According to a recent Vitals press release, approximately 46% more people shopped for blood tests in 2015 than the year before, and they saved $1,149,682 by doing so. That’s because their health plans reward them for selecting good quality and low-price providers, as well as adopting healthy behaviors, such as losing weight, exercising more, and lowering high cholesterol scores. (more…)
Researchers at the University of California Berkeley tracked how the incentives of Safeway’s reference pricing program caused patients to reduce their use of medical labs with the highest prices
It took just 24 months for Safeway and its employees to pay 32% less for clinical laboratory tests using a new health benefits strategy called “reference pricing.” This strategy targets the large variation in prices that different medical laboratories charge for the same tests and incentivizes employees in a consumer-friendly way to select medical laboratories with lower prices over labs with higher prices.
Dark Daily’s sister publication, The Dark Report recognized how Safeway’s use of reference pricing to reduce the overall cost of what it and its employees pay for clinical laboratory tests by about a third in just 24 months could turn out to be a sentinel event of a wider trend. This trend would put those medical labs with the highest lab test prices under significant financial pressure if other employers and health insurers were to incorporate a reference pricing arrangement in their health benefit plans.
This is why, on September 6, 2016, The Dark Report devoted an entire issue to the topic of reference pricing and its potential to trigger powerful downward pressure on the highest lab test prices charged by some labs. This is essential reading for senior lab administrators, executives, CFOs, and their financial advisors. (more…)