Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cost of Health Care, Heart Disease, JAMA / 28.07.2020 Interview with: Frank Wharam, MD, MPH Department of Population Medicine Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Institute Boston, MA 02215 What is the background for this study? Response:  There is substantial concern that high-deductible health plans increase people’s risk of major adverse health events such as heart attack and stroke. No studies have examined this question. This study examines the effects of a transition to a high-deductible health plan on the risk of major adverse cardiovascular outcomes (myocardial infarction and stroke). The study group included individuals with risk factors for cardiovascular disease who were continuously enrolled in low-deductible (<$500) health plans during a baseline year followed by up to 4 years in high-deductible (≥$1000) plans after an employer-mandated switch. The matched control group included individuals with the same risk factors who were contemporaneously enrolled in low-deductible plans.  We examined time to first major adverse cardiovascular event, defined as myocardial infarction or stroke.  (more…)
AHRQ, Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 09.10.2018 Interview with: Salam Abdus, PhD Division of Research and Modeling, Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Department of Health and Human Services Rockville, Maryland What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: High deductible health plans are more prevalent than ever. Previous research showed that adults in low-income families or with chronic conditions are more likely to face high financial burdens when they are enrolled in high-deductible health plans, compared to adults in higher income families or healthier adults. In this study we examined the financial burden of high-deductible health plans among adults who are both low income and chronically ill. We used AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component (MEPS-HC) data from 2011 to 2015 to study the prevalence of high out-of-pocket health care spending burden of high deductible health plans among adults enrolled in employer-sponsored insurance. We included family out-of-pocket spending on premiums and health care services. We found that among adults who had family income below 250% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL), had multiple chronic conditions, and were enrolled in high-deductible health plans, almost half (46.9%) had financial family out-of-pocket health care burden exceeding 20 percent of family disposable income. (more…)