Empowering Consumers in a Changing Health Care Market: The Need for Information and the Role of Marketing

Mayer, Robert N.; Scammon, Debra L.; Sofaer, Shoshanna
September 1994
Journal of Public Policy & Marketing;Fall94, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p321
Academic Journal
The article discusses the role of marketing in empowering consumers in the health care market of the United States. Many recent proposals for health care reform are built around the notion of "managed competition." One element of the underlying theory of managed competition is that if individual consumers faced financial incentives to make cost-conscious choices among competing health plans, they would become a powerful market force to improve the cost-effectiveness and value of the overall health care system both for themselves and for society. Health care is complex and multidimensional. A wide range and dizzying number of features of a health plan or provider can be used to characterize its potential value to a consumer. Health care providers, regulators, and payers have spent considerable energy over the last several decades to specify these features and find ways to measure them in a valid and reliable way. The interests and concerns of individual consumers, however, have been notably absent as a driver of performance measure development.


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