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Health Serv Res. Jul 2001; 36(3): 447–476.
PMCID: PMC1089237

Creating more effective health plan quality reports for consumers: lessons from a synthesis of qualitative testing.


OBJECTIVE: Social marketing techniques such as consumer testing have only recently been applied to develop effective consumer health insurance information. This article discusses lessons learned from consumer testing to create consumer plan choice materials. DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: Data were collected from 268 publicly and privately insured consumers in three studies between 1994 and 1999. STUDY DESIGN: Iterative testing and revisions were conducted to design seven booklets to help Medicaid, Medicare, and employed consumers choose a health plan. DATA COLLECTION METHODS: Standardized protocols were used in 11 focus groups and 182 interviews to examine the content, comprehension, navigation, and utility of the booklets. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A method is suggested to help consumers narrow their plan choices by breaking down the process into smaller decisions using a set of guided worksheets. CONCLUSION: Implementing these lessons is challenging and not often done well. This article gives examples of evidence-based approaches to address cognitive barriers that designers of consumer health insurance information can adapt to their needs.

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Selected References

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