Association of Reference Pricing for Diagnostic Laboratory Testing With Changes in Patient Choices, Prices, and Total Spending for Diagnostic Tests

JAMA Internal Medicine
July 2016
Robinson, J.C., Whaley, C., and Brown, T.T.

Prices for laboratory and other clinical services vary widely. Employers and insurers increasingly are adopting “reference pricing” policies to create incentives for patients to select lower-priced facilities. In this HCFO-funded study, the researchers measured the association between implementation of reference pricing and patient choice of laboratory, test prices, patient out-of-pocket spending, and insurer spending. The researchers found that when combined with access to price information, reference pricing was associated with patient choice of lower-cost laboratories and reductions in prices and payments by both employer and employees.

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