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Doctors vs. dishwashers

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The Altarum Institute Center for Consumer Choice in Health Care posts this new survey comparing how much effort we devote to shopping for doctors versus shopping for appliances or cars. The appliances and cars, it turns out, get a lot more attention:

This is surprising in the context of what a big chunk of consumer budgets go toward health care: The average family with employer-sponsored insurance spends $10,944 on premiums each year. But it’s perhaps explained by one of the survey’s other findings. Americans might not shop for health care because they have little confidence in their ability to do so:

Shopping for a doctor is a lot harder than shopping for a dishwasher. There’s no price tag for what you’ll pay, or a Consumer Report to reference on quality. That might be one reason that Americans spend relatively little time thinking about their health-care spending choices: They don’t believe they’ll make a better choice for the cost or quality of care they receive.

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