By Monica E. Oss Most health care provider organizations don't think about consumers paying cash directly for services—for good reason. The U.S. has long had a health care financing system that relies on third-party payment. Forty-nine percent of the population is covered by employer-sponsored health plans, 14% by Medicare, and 19% by Medicaid (see Health Insurance Coverage of the Total Population). And, U.S. consumers have been trained to select health plans and services where they pay the least out-of-pocket (OOP). Analysis of consumer buying behavior for health plans has found that in many cases, consumers are willing to trade “choice” for cost reductions (see…
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