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Consumer-directed health plans: do doctors and nurses buy in?

Consumer-directed health plans: do doctors and nurses buy in?

American Journal of Managed Care 23(3): E89

Aiming to increase healthcare value, consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs)-high-deductible health insurance plus a personal spending account-equip enrollees with decision-support tools and expose them to the financial implications of their medical decisions. This study examines whether medically knowledgeable consumers are more or less likely to select a CDHP than individuals without medical knowledge. Using University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) human resources data, our observational cross-sectional study analyzed the health plan enrollment choices of 3552 faculty and 8429 staff employees. We compared CDHP selection in 2 cohorts: 1) physicians and nonphysician faculty and 2) nurses and nonmedical staff. We used probit regression models to predict CDHP selection, adjusted for job title, demographics (ie, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, employee income), and coverage type (eg, single). Approximately 5% of UCLA employees chose the CDHP. After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and coverage type, physicians were less likely to choose these plans than nonmedical faculty, when all other covariates were fixed at their means (predicted probability change [ΔP], -1.6%; standard error [SE], 0.8%; P = .05). Nurses also appeared less inclined to choose these plans than nonmedical staff, which approached statistical significance (ΔP, -1.9%; SE, 1.0%; P = .07). Overall low rates of CDHP selection were observed in consumers with and without medical knowledge. Although physicians and nurses seem to be better positioned as CDHP consumers, they appeared less likely to select these health plans compared with nonmedical faculty and staff in our study.

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Accession: 059545365

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PMID: 28385030

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