The Law and Ethics of Consumer-Directed Health Care

Award Year:
Carl Schneider, Mark Hall
Health Care Law
New developments in health insurance, designed in part to contain costs, require patients to take greater responsibility for making medical spending decisions. The mechanisms of this new "consumer-directed health care" model - health savings accounts, high-deductible catastrophic coverage, and tiered provider networks and pharmacy benefits - have broad policy implications that may challenge the doctor-patient relationship, the doctrine of informed consent, the medical malpractice standard of care, and other tenets of health care law and ethics. Co-investigators Mark A. Hall, J.D., and Carl E. Schneider, J.D. seek to better understand how law and ethics can and should respond to consumer-directed health care. Their project, The Law and Ethics of Consumer-Directed Health Care, probes a range of possible effects on medical practice and treatment relationships when cost-sharing by patients plays a greater role in medical decision-making.