Study Proves Online Shopping for Healthcare Services Drives Cost Reduction

Nearly $50 million in potential savings shown when cost transparency tools are used

PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A new case study published by HealthSparq, the leading provider of integrated healthcare shopping solutions, sheds light on the potential cost savings of offering healthcare price transparency tools to consumers.

The results were revealed in a research study commissioned by HealthSparq in partnership with one of its customers, the largest health insurance company in the Pacific Northwest.  The study shows a realized savings of more than $400,000 and potential savings of nearly $50 million over a two year period. The savings were generated by members of the health plan who used HealthSparq's Treatment Cost Estimator (TCE) online tool to shop for treatments related to hernia conditions, digestive conditions and women's health issues.

The study demonstrates how comparing costs for healthcare services can reduce costs.

"Health insurers, employers and consumers are looking for ways to cut healthcare costs," said HealthSparq President Scott Decker. "Our tools allow consumers to know their options and have a say about the services they decide to receive and from whom. This study shows that getting consumers directly involved in shopping for healthcare leads to reduced healthcare costs."

The study reviewed medical insurance claims for treatments related to hernia conditions, digestive conditions and women's health issues from health plan members for a term of two years (November 2010-2012). Study evaluators compared the costs of place of service choices associated with these three conditions, comparing those who used the TCE tool versus those who did not, controlling for age, gender, state, member benefit level, condition severity and an assessment of future risk.  The potential costs savings was calculated by looking at what would be achieved if non-TCE users had used the tool and behaved the same as TCE-users.

To download a summary report of the study, visit  

Since launching more than a year ago, HealthSparq has contracted with 18 health insurers nationwide that together provide coverage to nearly 100 million consumers.

About HealthSparq

HealthSparq develops healthcare transparency solutions for health insurers and self-insured employers, including tools for provider search, cost estimates, online communities and patient reviews. The HealthSparq platform leverages data from a variety of sources, including health insurance claims and quality information linked together with community reviews and discussions, to empower consumers to make informed decisions via online shopping for healthcare services. HealthSparq is part of the Cambia Health Solutions family of companies and is located in Portland, Oregon. To learn more about HealthSparq, visit and follow @HealthSparq on Twitter. To request a HealthSparq demo, please send an email to [email protected] or call 855-SPARQ-IT (855-772-7748).

SOURCE HealthSparq