Human resources executives say health consumers continue to have a hard time shopping for care based on cost.
Researchers at Watson Wyatt Worldwide, Washington, and the RAND Corp., Santa Monica, Calif., have based that finding on a survey of HR executives at 47 large U.S. employers with a total of 58 health savings account and health reimbursement arrangement programs.
Participating executives reported that health account plan members have a much easier time comparing drug prices than they have comparing prices for medical procedures.
About 92% of the participants said their health account plans offer online drug cost information and only 23% of those employers said the information is poor or merely satisfactory.
Meanwhile, only 7% of the participants said the health account programs they use offer good or excellent information about the cost of care from specific providers.