US workers will be asked to pay $155 more in 2006 for medical care than they did just a year earlier, according to a recent study by Towers Perrin.
Employers will pay an extra $442. The average insurance premium for a family of four is nearing $10,000 a year. (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation)
But more doesn’t always mean better. A 2003 study from Rand Corp. showed that at best, only 55% of patients get the care doctors recommend.
One solution often proposed to contain costs is pay for performance, a plan to pay the best doctors cash bonuses for quality care. While this may boost the quality of care, it is unclear how it will save money for consumers, health plans or employers. Casting even more doubt about pay-for-performance for cost containment, finding good measurements of medical quality is easier said than done.