Study:Consumers choose cheaper services, drugs

Consumers are responding to the advent of higher-deductible plans and higher co-pays as you might expect. According to a new study by consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, patients who bear a higher percentage of the cost of health services are choosing lower-cost options for their care, such as substituting generics for branded prescription drugs or primary care visits for specialist visits. In particular, the study noted, consumers seemed to be happy to switch medications to save money, even if the cost difference wasn't that great. The same study also found that when it comes to health education, consumers trust their local pharmacist more than virtually any other source of medical information, including physicians, drug companies and health sites on the Web.

To learn more about these trends:
- read this article from the Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report
read the Booz Allen Hamilton report (.pdf)