Patients are terrible consumers: Jon Cohen at TedMed

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Patients are terrible consumers, according to Jon Cohen, chief medical officer at Quest Diagnostics.

In a video of his appearance at the June TedMed conference, he made these points:

  • People with high-deductible plans and health savings accounts are saving money and not spending it on basic health care.
  • Mammography rates, cervical cancer screening rates, colonoscopy screening and diabetes testing are all lower in people in those plans, than in the general population.
  • More than 50 percent of people over 50 don’t have colonoscopies.
  • Co-payments turn out to be deterrents for some people: major employers are removing co-pays so they will have a healthier work force.
  • Major employers are also  paying people to get basic health care (wellness plans) to get basic testing done.

The 13-minute video is worth a watch. It’s also interesting if you think about the differences in prices for lab tests — it’s one of the most interesting places to look for disparities between what is charged and what is actually paid.  We’ve written about crazy lab test charges before,  here, and there’s an essay about this topic here from our friends at costsofcare.org.