Lise Rybowski

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This background paper explores the role of information in an evolving health care marketplace. It notes that, in a softening economy, many employers seeking relief from escalating health care expenses shift costs onto employees. Some try to make their retreat more palatable by offering employees both more options for how and where they receive health care and more control over how and where the money is spent. This paper discusses the changes that are likely to occur over the next decade in the ways that people make decisions about health plans and providers, the implications for consumers' information needs, and the availability of cost and quality data to meet those needs. The paper also identifies the developments necessary to ensure that people have the information they need in a usable form when they need it.

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