Saturday, June 8, 2019 • 10:30 am
Plenary Address: The Amish as Health Care Consumers
Katherine Hempstead, PhD
Although the Plain people are a very traditional population, as health care consumers they exhibit traits that represent advanced forms of a number of industry trends. As cash purchasers, they have an extreme amount of “skin in the game” and constitute an important cash market, which is geographically concentrated and in some areas quite sizable. The Plain community is highly consumerist—they shop for care, negotiate directly with providers, and will engage in medical tourism. Further, the Plain community receives extremely transparent information about health care service prices, the very type of information that providers generally take great pains not to release. This presentation will assess the unique role of the Plain community as health care consumers and discuss how they impact providers and health care markets, and what broader lessons we can draw for the industry as a whole.
Katherine Hempstead is a senior policy adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where she works on health care issues, mostly related to coverage, cost, and access. She previously ran a data center in New Jersey state government, where she also worked in the office of the attorney general. In addition, she was formerly on the faculty at the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, where she is still a visitor. Hempstead has a PhD in demography and history from the University of Pennsylvania.