HealthSparq’s First Health Care Shopping Trends Report Explores the People Behind the Data

Comprehensive report reveals in-depth look at how people “shopped”
for health care in 2015

a company dedicated to empowering people to comparison shop for their
health care, today released a first-of-its-kind 2015
Health Care Shopping Trends Report
that explores what matters most
to health care shoppers.

The report used data from 237,000 people who pulled 523,000 cost
estimates using HealthSparq’s cost estimator tools in 2015. Those people
are members of 70 health plans of varying sizes across the U.S.
HealthSparq is sharing this report with the entire health care industry
to foster a better understanding of what people need to make better,
more informed decisions about their care.

Among many findings within the report, the research found that 62
percent of health care shoppers are women, and 53 percent of shoppers
are between ages 25-44. Imaging & Radiology and Labor & Delivery were
the two most shopped-for categories among those HealthSparq users, no
matter the region, age or season.

Big findings from HealthSparq’s 2015 Health Care Shopping Trends Report
also included:

  • Shopping behaviors and needs vary, often significantly, depending on
    what age group, season and region of the country a person belongs to.
  • People are searching for both day-to-day health care services like
    Immunizations and Chiropractic treatments, as well as big medical
    events such as giving birth. They’re also shopping most for the health
    care procedures that are most expensive, such as Labor & Delivery and
    Heart Disease & Circulation Conditions.
  • Some report data tracked closely with health trends confirmed by the
    CDC. For example, colon health-related searches are two times higher
    in the West, where the CDC reports the lowest rate of colorectal

As a whole, the health care cost transparency industry sees low adoption
of price comparison tools, even as the national media has shone a bright
light on the wild cost disparities – and the confusing world – of health
care. HealthSparq created this report to better understand how to
increase adoption industry-wide, and provide smarter tools for its own
customers. According to the company, each individual using HealthSparq’s
cost estimator tools could save an average of $525 per year. By
examining the health care shopping trends of these 237,000 people,
HealthSparq sees a great opportunity to improve their tools in a way
that can better serve those who are already using them.

“While others in the health care transparency market are focused on cost
disparities, we wanted to focus on better understanding who is currently
comparison shopping for their care, and how we can better serve them,”
said Torben Nielsen, senior vice president of product at HealthSparq.
“We are determined to use the data from this report to increase health
care shopping tool adoption through education efforts, and create tools
that health plan members actually want to use. Our focus has been firmly
placed on the people and their behaviors, and we are confident that
these insights will help us – and others in the industry – connect with
those people on an even deeper level.”

HealthSparq is committed to continuing this research so it can work with
health plans to increase comparison shopping adoption, and help people
save money in the process. In addition to its flagship health care
shopping tool, the findings will inform the company’s health plan,
provider and consumer-facing products, and thus help people have an
easier time navigating the complex health care system.

Find HealthSparq’s 2015 Health Care Shopping Trends Report online

About HealthSparq:

HealthSparq empowers people to make smarter health care choices by
providing the cost and quality information they need to truly compare
health providers and services. By enabling people to see the total costs
of care (pre- and post-procedure included) for more than 400 medical
treatments based on their individual health plan, comparison shop for
procedures and providers, review quality ratings, and learn about
alternative care options, HealthSparq is helping people navigate the
health care system and shop for health care as they never have before.

Since our founding in 2008, from our home in Portland, Oregon,
HealthSparq has grown to serve 70 health plans and their 74 million
members nationwide. Interested in joining a health care revolution?
Contact us at
or tweet us @HealthSparq.


For HealthSparq
Jordon Goulder, 858-449-8896