Background: For consumers to accept and use a health care information system, it must be easy to use, and the consumer must perceive it as being free from effort. Finding health care providers and paying for care are tasks that must be done to access treatment. These tasks require effort on the part of the consumer and can be frustrating when the goal of the consumer is primarily to receive treatments for better health. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the factors that result in consumer effort when finding accessible health care. Having an understanding of these factors will help define requirements when designing health information systems. Methods: A panel of 12 subject matter experts was consulted and the data from 60 million medical claims were used to determine the factors contributing to effort. Results: Approximately 60 million claims were processed by the health care insurance organization in a 12-month duration with the population defined. Over 292 million diagnoses from claims were used to validate the panel input. The results of the study showed that the number of people in the consumer's household, number of visits to providers outside the consumer's insurance network, number of adjusted and denied medical claims, and number of consumer inquiries are a proxy for the level of effort in finding and paying for care. The effort level, so measured and weighted per expert panel recommendations, differed by diagnosis. Conclusions: This study provides an understanding of how consumers must put forth effort when engaging with a health care system to access care. For higher satisfaction and acceptance results, health care payers ideally will design and develop systems that facilitate an understanding of how to avoid denied claims, educate on the payment of claims to avoid adjustments, and quickly find providers of affordable care.
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- Consumer health information
- Health expenditures
- Health services accessibility
- Patient acceptance of health care
- User effort