Supporting Better Patient Decisions at the Point of Care: What Payers and Delivery Systems Can Do

Issue Brief
Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research
Feb 10, 2016
Anna Collins, Cara Stepanczuk, Nyna Williams, and Eugene Rich

We note opportunities for payers and health care delivery systems to support patients in typical point-of-care situations. Drawing from a review of the existing research literature, as well as information collected through focus groups with typical health care consumers and discussions with stakeholders, we explore such strategies as value-based insurance design, informed decision-making tools, revised provider incentives, and improved physician communication. Our work notes the importance of the specific clinical problem, patients’ circumstances, and community context in designing effective supports for patients’ decision making at the point of care. We also note the key role of patients’ trust in clinicians and that practice-based initiatives to improve this aspect of physician–patient communication could be beneficial in each of a series of representative clinical cases.