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Center for Research on Health Benefits Innovation
Launched in 2010, EBRIs Center for Research on Health Benefits Innovation (EBRI CRHBI) focuses on helping employers assess the impact that plan design, with goal of increasing consumer engagement, has on cost, quality, and access to health care.
The Center focuses on three broad areas of research.
- Behavioral economics – combines the insights from psychology with economic theory to design health benefits and to improve delivery of health care services.
- Incentives – Employers often build financial incentives into their health benefits. One example is three-tiered co-payments for prescription drugs. Another is value-based benefit design.
- Consumer-driven health benefits – Consumer driven health benefits (CDHPs) combine a high-deductible with a tax-preferred account. The expectation is that by giving individuals more control over funds allocated for health care services they will spend the money more responsibly, especially once they become more educated about the actual price of health services.
- Evaluation of a Full-Replacement HSA on Use of Services, Quality, Outcomes and Spending – This project evaluates the impact that adopting an HSA for all employees has on use of services, quality, outcomes, and spending. The following papers have been published:
- "Consumer-Directed Health Plans Reduce The Long-Term Use Of Outpatient Physician Visits And Prescription Drugs." Health Affairs, June 2013.
- "Health Care Spending after Adopting a Full Replacement, High-Deductible Health Plan With a Health Savings Account: A Five-Year Study." EBRI Issue Brief, July 2013.
- "Medication Utilization and Adherence in a Health Savings Account-Eligible Plan." American Journal of Managed Care, December 2013.
- "Brand-Name and Generic Prescription Drug Use After Adoption of a Full-Replacement, Consumer-Directed Health Plan With a Health Savings Account."EBRI Notes, March 2014.
- "Quality of Health Care After Adopting a Full-Replacement, High-Deductible Health Plan With a Health Savings Account: A Five-Year Study."EBRI Issue Brief, September 2014.
- Reference pricing – This project examines the impact of reference pricing for hip and knee replacement, colonoscopy, MRI of the spine, CT-scan of the head, nuclear stress test, and echocardiogram.
- "Reference Pricing for Health Care Services: A New Twist on the Defined Contribution Concept in Employment-Based Health Benefits." EBRI Issue Brief, April 2014.
- "Reference Pricing: New Twist on the Defined Contribution Concept in Health Benefits." Benefits Magazine, October 2014.
- Impact of Financial Incentives for Wellness Programs to Engage Workers and Their Dependents in Health Care on Health Services Use and Costs – This project examines how the adoption of incentives to participate in programs such as health risk assessments and biometric screening affected use of health care services, spending on health benefits, worker health status, and worker productivity. Please check back often as additional findings from the project will be released in 2016.
- "Financial Incentives and Workplace Wellness-Program Participation." EBRI Issue Brief, March 2015.
- "Financial Incentives, Workplace Wellness Program Participation, and Utilization of Health Care Services and Spending." EBRI Issue Brief, August 2015.
- "Impact of Workplace Wellness-Program Participation on Medication Adherence." EBRI Notes, January 2016.
- Evaluation of Value-Based Insurance Design for Primary Care Services – This project is evaluating the impact of adopting zero cost sharing for primary care office visits on use of services, quality, outcomes and spending.
- "Elimination of the Out-of-Pocket Charge for Children's Primary Care Visits: An Application of Value-Based Insurance Design." The Journal of Pediatrics, Published Online: May 14, 2016.
- Evaluation of HSA-Eligible Health Plan on Use of Health Care Services by Worker Income – This project is evaluating the impact of enrollment in an HSA-eligible health plan on use of health care services and spending by worker income.
- "The Impact of an HSA-Eligible Health Plan on Health Care Services Use and Spending by Worker Income." EBRI Issue Brief, August 2016.
- Evaluation of Plan Switching: Implications for Private Health Insurance Exchanges – This project is evaluate the impact of adding more choice of insurance companies and health plans on worker choice of plan. It will also examine the role of health status, use of services, and out-of-pocket spending on choice of plan. Findings from the project will be released in 2016.
The Center is funded by the following Research Partners.
American Express IBM Aon Hewitt JP Morgan Chase Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Kaiser Permanente Boeing Mercer Healthways Pfizer
These organizations also form the Centers' advisory board. The advisory board sets the research agenda, determines research priorities within the constraints of available funding, and assists in data acquisition.
For more information about the research center, participation on the advisory board, and/or funding, contact Paul Fronstin, Chair of the Center.
- 401(k) Valuations Published: September 1, 2016 401(k) Balances and Changes Due to Market Volatility
- Data Book Last Updated: February 2013 A comprehensive collection of the most up-to-date benefit information available