Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Inclusive Pages



Health Care Costs; Patient Needs; Quality improvement


With health care costs increasing, some policymakers have sought to make patients better health care consumers through increased cost-sharing linked with greater information on the cost of care. These may be successful cost containment strategies in the short term. But patients are just as likely to forgo necessary as unnecessary care, which ultimately leads to greater demand for more intensive and expensive care in the long term. Patients can, however, play an important role in preventing the onset of chronic conditions or preventing deterioration in health once they have been diagnosed with a chronic condition. In this chapter we discuss tools available to identify and empower—or "activate"—patients to be better managers of their health. We also suggest heath care delivery reform options to encourage the expansion of programs that empower patients to improve their health and control personal health care costs, thereby improving health outcomes and containing costs for all.

Open Access


Included in

Health Policy Commons



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