health care spending accounts

Will patients ever shop for health care the way consumers do for an iPhone?

Pfizer's Robert Popovian asks this question in his latest contribution for Morning Consult called "Let the ‘Buyer Beware’ for Health Care Purchases."

Policymakers have welcomed the concept of health care consumerism for many years, based on the idea that if patients could "shop" for medical services, it would set up a competition between providers (physicians, hospitals, drug companies) that would ensure that patient-consumers would receive better care for less money. Can this work?

Popovian writes, " Theoretically, the rationale sounds like a winner; however, health care is unlike most other goods or services as it is hindered by what economists refer to as “asymmetry in...