NU Online News Service, Feb. 20, 10:38 a.m. – The Dieringer Research Group, Milwaukee, and the Pareto Health Group, Annapolis, Md., say they are conducting a survey to learn how U.S. residents view the new “defined-contribution” or “consumer-driven” health plans.

Most of the plans combine high-deductible health insurance with personal accounts that participants can use to cover the cost of ordinary medical expenses.

Many of the plans give participants extra responsibility for choosing doctors, negotiating rates with doctors and managing the cost of treating routine health problems.

Researchers at Dieringer and Pareto will be interviewing 1,000 U.S. adults nationwide to establish national norms for consumer attitudes about the defined-contribution plans and related issues, the companies say.

The companies hope to complete the first survey by April, then conduct additional surveys to track how attitudes toward the new plans change over time.