Consumer Driven Health Care

Promise and Performance

The performance of consumer-driven health care has fallen short of both the aspirations of its proponents and the fears of its critics. This paper analyzes the evolution of consumer-driven health care in terms of its original vision, its subsequent implementation, and the transformations it has endured as it moves into its second decade. The market is generating product designs that combine elements of consumerism with elements of managed care, but the trend is always toward a stronger role for consumer choice and a weaker role for management of those choices by physicians, insurers, employers and regulators.