Patients may be more interested than experts realize in analyzing the cost and quality of medical care.
Researchers at Regence, Portland, Ore., a health insurer group that provides health coverage in Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington state, have based that conclusion on a survey of 2,000 adults in the states Regence.
About 70% of the participants said they would be interested in price or quality information if they were seeking non-urgent care, such as diagnostic testing services or teeth whitening services.
Among participants interested in cost or quality information, 78% were interested in quality information and 74% were interested in cost information.
About 80% of the uninsured participants said they were more likely to research cost than to research quality.
One quirk is that consumers said they are willing to comparison shop for durable consumer goods at a price starting around $199, but they said they are interested in comparison shopping for health care only if they expect the health care services involved to cost more than about $500, researchers report.