Impact of increased cost sharing on utilization of low-value services: The first evaluation of this approach nationally

The researchers examined two value-based insurance design (VBID) programs offered by public employers in Oregon between 2009 and 2012 that simultaneously increased cost-sharing for low-value services and reduced cost-sharing for high-value services for both pharmaceutical drugs and general medical services. The researchers took advantage of the quasi-experimental design created by the staggered implementation of the two VBID programs in Oregon, the Oregon Public Employees’ Benefit Board (PEBB) and the Oregon Educators Benefit Board (OEBB). They utilized comparable data from three public employers in Oregon that did not implement a VBID program approach to assess the causal effect of the VBID programs on medical service use, costs, and patient outcomes. The goal of this project was to inform policymakers, benefit plan designers, and employers about the effectiveness of benefit design interventions for reducing health care costs and improving patient outcomes.