HealthSparq releases a report on 2015 health care shopping trends. (HealthSparq Survey) The report is based on 237,000 consumers shopping for 523,000 services or procedures. The shoppers were 62% female. 3% were ages 17 to 24; 30% were ages 25 to 34; 23% were ages 35 to 44; 19% were ages 45 to 54 and 22% were over age 55. The top five searched for conditions were labor and delivery, imaging, diagnostic lab, colon health and office visits. The top 20 list contains a mix of chronic and acute care needs. There are several items related to childbirth, babies and reproductive health, which may reflect the disproportionately female nature of the searchers. There is some geographic variation in what is looked for and there is seasonality with the most searches conducted in the summer and the fewest in winter. There is also obviously variation by age, with older people looking more at things related to joints, bones, cancer, etc. Some expensive procedures are searched, including coronary artery bypass, at an average of $86,000; lumbar fusion at $72,000; cervical fusion at $57,000; stents $44,000; and knee replacements at $42,000. And there are some interesting searches–ring cuts finger off, human bites, lightening strike, tree falls on person.
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The Healthy Skeptic is a website about the health care system, and is written by Kevin Roche, who has many years of experience working in the health industry. Mr. Roche is available to assist health care companies through consulting arrangements through Roche Consulting, LLC and may be reached at [email protected].
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