Greg Scandlen of the Galen Institute offers his commentary on a collection of research papers documenting early experiences with consumer-driven health care. Scandlen emphasizes that ?consumerism in health care is in its infancy? and the market is ?in a period of experimentation and trial and error.? He notes that it?s just as important to study mistakes and missteps as successes ?as a welcome opportunity to improve the product offerings.? He says that early adopters in a new market differ in predictable ways from later adopters in a mature market, with the former willing ?to accept risking the unknown?If the product is successful at this stage, word gets out and the new idea attracts a wider market segment.? One of the greatest values of the consumer movement, Scandlen notes, is that ?[v]endors and employers are free to refine their products in accordance with changing conditions and growing knowledge.?
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