Friday, June 22, 2007

Rand Part II

Health Care accounts for 16% of our GDP but surprisingly we have little information available as to what treatments are cost effective or more basic things like how different types of insurance affect health outcomes. The last major study focusing on insurance and health outcomes, and really the only authoritative study, was conducted by the Rand Corporation about 25 years ago. In the study people were randomly assigned to three different health plans with varying levels of co-insurance (level of deductible, co-payments, things of that sort). The finding was that those that had higher levels of co-insurance tended to consume less care (both effective and ineffective care) and use less sick leave but without suffering in terms of health outcomes. But the fact is the study is dated, we should be conducting longitudinal studies of this nature on an ongoing basis.

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