Groundbreaking Study Unveiled at AHIP Institute Offers Health Insurers New Insights into the Post Reform Environment

HealthSparq President Reveals Under-Utilization of Cost and Quality Comparison Tools

Jun 13, 2013, 17:42 ET from HealthSparq

PORTLAND, Ore., June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today HealthSparq, a trusted provider of healthcare transparency solutions to many of the nation's largest regional health plans and employers, unveiled a first-of-its-kind benchmark study at the America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Institute 2013 conference demonstrating the under-utilization of transparency tools by health plans nationwide.  Additionally, HealthSparq President Scott Decker offered feedback to health plans about how they can be more competitive in a changed reform environment.

According to a recent Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focus group survey published, consumers are interested in basing healthcare decisions on comparison data; however, a recent HealthSparq study found that  a majority of insurers are offering only basic provider search tools, and not essential healthcare cost and quality information to members. This presentation comes on the heels of a recent AHIP Board of Directors statement that listed "Tackling Barriers to Transparency" as one of three key strategies.

"In the midst of healthcare reform, and change happening in the healthcare marketplace, costs continue to be unsustainable for employers and individuals," said HealthSparq President Scott Decker. "The marketplace is responding slowly as consumers demand more information to comparison shop for healthcare. Insurers and employers have the power to provide that information to individuals. Our organization helps them bring that power directly to their members and employees."

The survey was commissioned by HealthSparq and conducted by the Cicero Group, an independent market research firm. The study found that among health plans, transparency is expected to emerge as a point of greater organizational focus, and interest in third-party tools to provide enhanced transparency for consumers is anticipated to grow. This finding is validated by a recent study by research and advisory firm Aite Group indicating that the healthcare transparency industry is expected to grow to $3 billion by 2016.

"More than two-thirds of health plan executives and managers agree it's important to equip members with the tools they need to make informed healthcare decisions," said Cicero Group CEO Randy Shumway. "However, with varying levels of awareness of availability of different transparency tools, there is clear room for increased understanding of the full scope of what transparency is and can entail."

The statistical significance of the survey calculated to a confidence level of 95%.

To download a summary report of the study, visit

Coincident with the release of this study, HealthSparq has also released a new White Paper at AHIP Institute that describe the close relationship between healthcare reform and transparency. To download the white paper, visit

About HealthSparq

HealthSparq develops healthcare transparency solutions for health plans and self-insured employers. The HealthSparq platform leverages data from a variety of sources, including health insurance claims, linked together with community reviews and discussions to empower consumers to make informed decisions via online shopping for healthcare. HealthSparq is part of the Cambia Health Solutions family of companies and is located in Portland, Oregon. To learn more about HealthSparq, visit and follow @HealthSparq on Twitter. To request a HealthSparq demo, please send an email to or call 855-SPARQ-IT (855-772-7748).

SOURCE HealthSparq