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Med Care Res Rev. 2009 Feb;66(1 Suppl):28S-52S. doi: 10.1177/1077558708325887. Epub 2008 Nov 24.

Quality and consumer decision making in the market for health insurance and health care services.

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  • 1Harvard University, USA.


This article reviews the literature relating quality to consumer choice of health plan or health care provider. Evidence suggests that consumers tend to choose better performing health plans and providers and are responsive to initiatives that provide quality information. The response to quality and quality information differs significantly among consumers and across population subgroups. As such the effect of quality information on choice is apparent in only a relatively small, though perhaps consequential, number of consumers. Despite the wealth of findings on the topic to date, the authors suggest directions for future work, including better assessment of the dynamic issues related to information release, as well as a better understanding of how the response to information varies across different groups of patients.

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