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(originally published by Booz & Company)


Planners, Shoppers, Contenders, and Cavaliers: How Consumerism Is Changing the Health Insurance Industry

S+B: Do health plans need to collaborate on uniformity or standardization?
Absolutely. The quicker the industry is able to move to a consistent definition of clinical quality for services, the better off everyone is going to be. But the financing of health care is still complex. There’s a lot of cost, tension, and time related to paying for a health-care event, and there’s a lot of opportunity for improvement. Doctors and other health-care providers need help reducing the time it takes them to get paid and the administrative costs for managing their revenue, and controlling their bad debt. Addressing these issues will make the system easier and more seamless. Instead of forcing providers or consumers to review complex EOB forms, there could be a monthly statement that resembles a financing-vehicle statement, which is easier to understand. The consumer would know where his or her money is going and get a more rapid settlement.

Author Profile:

David Knott ([email protected]) is a senior vice president with Booz Allen Hamilton based in New York City. He works with health services clients on corporate and business unit strategies and transformation programs.
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  1. Gary Ahlquist, David Knott, and Philip Lathrop, “Prescription for Change,” s+b, Fall 2005: Why consumer-directed health plans are the last chance to avoid a government-controlled monopoly. Click here.
  2. Joe Flower, “Five-Star Hospitals,” s+b, Spring 2006: How some hospitals are thriving by taking a consumer-centric approach to care. Click here.
  3. Joe Flower and David Knott, “Does Health Care Have a Future?” s+b, Spring 2007: Eight books about the health-care system diagnose its problems and offer solutions. Click here.
  4. The Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust, “Employer Health Benefits, 2005 Annual Survey”: Annual survey examines the state of employer-based health coverage. PDF download.
  5. David Knott, Gary Ahlquist, and Rick Edmunds, “Health Care’s Retail Solution,” s+b, Spring 2007: How a consumer-oriented marketplace could improve the crippled U.S. health-care system. Click here.
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