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I agree with the idea of CDHC, but as a consumer, I'm frustrated by the execution. I absolutely pay attention to price with the plan, but it is frequently a problem to know what the price is. I took my son to the ER after a fall and when I asked about price, they had NO IDEA. Not even a ballpark. In fact, by reading a sign posted in the room, I was more clear about the billing process than the woman collecting my billing information. Doctors often don't know either when it comes to tests and meds. I don't hold them entirely responsible or think cost can always be a leading consideration, but you can't really even consider costs if you don't know even know them. It's a hassle to find them out too.

If you want to look at prescriptions, look here http://www.frugalpharmacies.com/ The prices vary considerably from pharmacy to pharmacy. Who would pay over $600 for Topamax at Walgreens when you could buy it for $440 from Walmart? But, I'm guessing few would even consider that a great option if they realized it was under $25 at Costco. This is one of the more breath-taking examples, but it is not unique.

The main argument for people who disagree with CDHP is that it reduces the "quality" of care. I often ask them to define why CDHP reduce "quality". Usually they mean that patients did not utilized healthcare as much as before. I think there is an ingrained bias in the healthcare debate of "more volume = better quality" despite opposing claims, as in support for global payments or ACOs. This new RAND study really puts CDHP in the spotlight. Dr. Goodman's comments on this RAND study are excellent if you have not seen them. This study confirms his position on CDHP

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