Findings from HCFO-Funded Work Featured in Article on Reference Pricing

Publication Date: 
October 27, 2016

In a piece for Dark Daily, Donna Marie Pocius discusses a HCFO-funded study from James Robinson, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, which documented changes in laboratory pricing and the selection of a testing laboratory by employees of the grocery store network Safeway following the implementation of a reference pricing policy. The researchers found that the use of reference pricing for clinical laboratory tests, combined with accessible price information, does reduce what employers and employees pay for the tests. Robinson notes, “When given information and incentives, [patients] switch from high-priced to low-priced laboratories unless convinced that especially high prices are accompanied by especially high quality.”