Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Ezra Klein provides a brief overview of some of the findings of the new General Accounting Office (GAO) report on Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), the alleged wave of the future for helping to control health care costs. He quotes some of the key language from the report:
HSA proponents see the accounts as a way to incentivize account holders to shop carefully for health care services, but GAO did not find that to be the case in questioning members of focus groups. "Few participants researched the cost of hospital or physician services before obtaining care, although many participants researched the cost of prescription drugs," the report found.
Oops! Perhaps we should re-think these. The report also discusses how HSAs do not work well for individuals with chronic medical conditions who use health care providers and services on a regular basis.