Consumer-Driven Health Care: The Changing Role of the Patient

Policy Reports | Health

No. 276
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
by Devon M. Herrick, Ph.D.


Consumers now have numerous avenues to become smart shoppers of medical services. Research has shown that employees are more satisfied when they have a greater choice of plans and consumer-driven health care offers them the ultimate choice. With these new plans comes the opportunity to manage our own care.

An important byproduct is that the quality of health care and service improves when patients control the checkbook, rather than third-party insurers. Another important result is that costs will rise more slowly. Over 250 million consumers holding a tight rein on health care spending will do more to control costs than a few third-party bureaucrats working for HMOs.

NOTE: Nothing written here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the National Center for Policy Analysis or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before Congress.

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