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Listening to Consumers: Values-Focused Health Benefits and Education

24 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2008  

Lois A. Vitt

Institute for Socio-Financial Studies

Ray Werntz

HPN Worldwide


The purpose of this paper is to (1) briefly review past efforts by employers to curb rising costs in health benefit coverage and care, (2) help shed light on consumer values and how (and why) consumers make the health-related decisions they do, (3) describe and discuss values-based, patient-centered approaches being taken in some hospital and other health care settings, and (4) present the case for values-focused employee education in health benefits and care. The analysis notes that consumer values can provide essential insights into consumer thinking about health-related behaviors and decision-making. It also notes that should health education initiatives prove ineffective, the "consumer-driven health movement" could well be doomed, especially if it relies upon fully educated health consumers taking self-initiated actions.

Keywords: Employment-based benefits, Health benefits education, Health care attitudes and opinions

JEL Classification: I1, I10, J32

Suggested Citation

Vitt, Lois A. and Werntz, Ray, Listening to Consumers: Values-Focused Health Benefits and Education. EBRI Issue Brief, No. 313, January 2008. Available at SSRN:

Lois A. Vitt (Contact Author)

Institute for Socio-Financial Studies ( email )

325 Four Leaf Lane, Suite 7
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
434 361-1010 (Phone)


Ray Werntz

HPN Worldwide ( email )

Washington DC Regional Office
11909 Champion Lake CT
Herndon, 20170
703-707-9559 (Phone)
703-517-4834 (Fax)

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