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Consumer Decision Support

Why Employers Care

Decision supports engage employees in approaching medical care as they would any other consumer good or service. Research shows decision support tools and resources make employees more comfortable with their health plan and treatment choices, increase employees' confidence and knowledge, and result in a more active participant of health care.

Decision tools and services address treatment options, provider choices, health plan options, health account funding, and cost/budgeting challenges. They range from high-touch approaches, like personal health assistants and expert medical consultations, to high-tech applications such as cost calculators, interactive online tools, and claims-based personalized messaging.

What Can Employers Do?

Leading employers, typically with their vendors, directly offer health care decision supports. Increasingly, they require their vendors to expand and evaluate decision support programs and services. Decision supports are increasingly sophisticated and targeted, even taking advantage of social networking trends.

Here are examples of decision-support tools offered by employers:

  • For Health Plan Decisions:
    • Plan comparison resources (e.g., a chart displaying plan option similarities and differences)
    • Calculators that integrate personal information
    • Personalized statements that detail each employee's health plan utilization and spending
    • Personal advocates
  • For Medical/Treatment Decisions:
    • Personal health assistants
    • Second opinion services
    • Health care navigators
    • Checklists and educational modules
    • Tools to manage health care costs
    • Peer-to-peer resources network

Other Consumer Decision Support Resources

Page last updated: September 14, 2012

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