SmartShopper, a program offered by health care data firm Vitals, works by offering financial incentives for about 40 categories of medical tests, from lab tests to some surgeries. The program gives workers a list of potential providers in their insurance network. It rates them using standards based on the specialty, government data and patient reviews. It also tells patients providers to avoid because they may be low quality. It then offers cash incentives for many of the remaining options. The incentive size depends on the care being performed and the difference in cost compared with other options. A blood test may garner a $25 reward for a worker picking a lower-cost provider. Meanwhile, someone getting bariatric surgery, which can cost upward of $20,000, could get a $500 check.
Rothschild said patients generally make a few hundred dollars each year. The biggest earner last year brought in around $3,500.
Read more at http://www.wral.com/employers-offer-cash-to-push-shopping-around-for-health-care/14968392/#VTh00HHGQMY74cz3.99