Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Consumer-directed health care: promise or puffery?

  • DANIEL CALLAHAN (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

Consumer-directed health care (CDHC) is one of the basic ideas that has emerged in recent years as a way of bringing greater efficiency and cost control into health care. Its principal aims are to give patients greater control over their care, economically as well as medically, and to improve competition among providers to increase the range of patient control. Its roots are American, bespeaking a cultural suspicion of government, a worry about rising costs, and an appeal to the popularity of choice in almost all matters, now including health care. CDHC also bespeaks the ideology of market ideology, drawing on both market concepts in economics and a push by American conservatives (particularly President George W. Bush) to privatize as much of American health care as possible). It draws particularly on the business community as a source of ideas and inspiration, assuming that if choice and competition work well in the commercial sector, it will work equally well in health care. A fundamental question, however, is not simply how well business models might work, but also whether thinking of the patient as a savvy consumer could ever make full sense in the face of complicated, emotionally charged illnesses and complex decision-making situations. Skepticism is in order.

Copyright
Corresponding author
* Correspondence to: Daniel Callahan, Director, International Program, The Hastings Center, 21 Malcolm Gordon Road, Garrison, NY 10524, USA. Email: Callahand@thehastingscenter.org
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

B. Baicker , Dow W. , and Wolfson J. (2007), ‘Lowering the barriers to consumer-directed health care: responding to concerns’, Health Affairs, 26(5): 13281331.

J. Bertko (2004), ‘Commentary-looking at the effects of consumer-centric health plans on expenditures and utilization’, in Clancy and Gauthier (eds), Health Services Research (HSR), 39(4): 12111218.

M.B. Buntin , C. Damberg , A. Haviland , K. Kapur , N. Lurie , R. McDevitt , and M.S. Marquis (2006), ‘Consumer-directed health care: early evidence about effects on cost and quality’, Health Affairs – Web exclusive, Special Supplement, Part II, 25(6): W516W530.

J. Christianson , S. Parente , and R. Feldman (2004) ‘Consumer experiences in a consumer-driven health plan’, in Clancy and Gauthier (eds), Health Services Research (HSR), Special Supplement, Part II, 39(4): 11231140.

K. Davis (2004) ‘Consumer-directed health care: will it improve health system performance?’, in Clancy and Gauthier (eds), Health Services Research (HSR), Special Supplement, Part II, 39(4): 12191231.

J. Fowles (2004), ‘Early experience with employee choice of consumer-directed health plans and satisfaction with enrollment’, in Clancy and Gauthier (eds), Health Services Research (HSR), Special Supplement, Part II, 39(4): 11411158.

J. Goodman (2006), ‘What is consumer-directed health care?’, Health Affairs – Web exclusive, 25(6): W540W543.

G. Halvorson (2004), ‘Commentary – current MSA theory: well meaning but futile’, in Clancy and Gauthier (eds), Health Services Research (HSR), Special Supplement, Part II, 39(4): 11191122.

D. Kodner (2003), ‘Consumer-directed services: lessons and implications for integrated systems of care’, International Journal of Integrated Care, 3: 17.

P. Lee and E. Hoo (2006), ‘Beyond consumer-directed health care: purchasers’ expectations of all plans’, Health Affairs – Web exclusive, 25(6): W544W548.

T. Miller (2006), ‘Getting on the soapbox: views of an innovator in consumer-directed care’, Health Affairs – Web exclusive, 25(6): W549W551.

S. Parente (2004), ‘Evaluation of the effect of a consumer-driven health plan on medical care expenditures and utilization’, in Clancy and Gauthier (eds), Health Services Research (HSR), Special Supplement, Part II, 39(4): 11891209.

J.C. Robinson (2001), ‘The end to asymmetric information’, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 26(5): 1045.

G. Scandlen (2004), ‘Commentary: how a consumer-driven health care evolves in a dynamic market’, in Clancy and Gauthier (eds), Health Services Research (HSR), Special Supplement, Part II, 39(4): 11131118.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Health Economics, Policy and Law
  • ISSN: 1744-1331
  • EISSN: 1744-134X
  • URL: /core/journals/health-economics-policy-and-law
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×