This post was originally published in Employee Benefit News.
Applying consumerist principles to the healthcare sector was meant to be the solution for all that ailed us. Think tanks and consultancies talked at length about how it would improve patient experiences, clinical outcomes and affordability.
While these consumerist forces have driven some progress in patient experience and clinical outcomes, cost continues to be a problem. By most accounts, affordability has moved one step forward and two steps back.
History tends to repeat itself. What we are experiencing is a failure on our part to adequately understand unintended consequences; in this case, those of shifting an ever-increasing share of our healthcare costs to individuals. This failure hurts individuals — and their employers — in three distinct ways.
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