The Impact of Quality Information on Consumer Plan Choices: Does Health Status Matter?

What is the impact of health status on consumers' use of quality information in making health plan choices? Using an Internet-based survey, researchers at RAND will build on a dataset collected as part of an AHRQ-funded small grant to include a series of health status and service use measures. They are addressing the following research questions: What is the effect of health status and experience with the health care delivery system on (1) the overall impact of quality information on plan choices, (2) the relative impact of various forms of information on plan choices, and (3) the trade-offs between provider access and quality that consumers make in choosing health plans? The objective of the study is to inform policy makers and employers whether the substantial investment in the collection and dissemination of plan performance measures which is designed to support consumers’ plan choices also meets the needs and concerns of those in poor health status for whom the consequences of plan choice are the greatest.