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Study: Tiered Provider Networks Keep Medical Spending Down

Tiered Provider Networks, like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Keep Medical Spending Down

Health plans featuring tiered provider networks were associated with a 5 percent decrease in spending, according to a Commonwealth Fund–supported analysis led by Anna D. Sinaiko of Harvard University (Health Affairs, May 2017). The decrease amounted to about $43 less per member per quarter compared with similar plans not offering tiered networks. Tiered-network plans may be more palatable to consumers than narrow-network plans, since they cover care from nonpreferred providers, albeit with higher cost-sharing.

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