This issue brief examines health care spending on shoppable services in 2011. Contrary to expectations, giving consumers prices so they can shop for health care services may only have a modest effect on reducing health spending.
In 2011, about 43% of the $524.2 billion spent on health care services for commercially insured people was considered shoppable.
About 15%—nearly $81 billion—of the total spent on health care for the commercially insured was spent out of pocket.
Of the total amount spent, about 7%—$37.7 billion—was spent on shoppable services out of pocket by consumers.
Most out-of-pocket dollars (44%) were spent on shoppable ambulatory doctor services.