Vasectomies, wellness treatment searches gain popularity in the New Year

Data from HealthSparq reveals new seasonality in patient health care shopping behaviors

PORTLAND, Ore. – March 19, 2015 – People in the United States increasingly shopped for vasectomies in the first quarter of the New Year, according to data released today by health care shopping tool HealthSparq. HealthSparq also saw searches for wellness treatments like chiropractic, physical therapy, preventative checkups and screening colonoscopies move into the top 10 searches in the same time period.The increase in vasectomy searches aligns with the national trend of Vas Madness, where men (and equally their wives) search for urologists in January in an effort to time the procedure for the March Madness college basketball tournament – a great time to stay on the couch and recover.

The data also indicates people are comparison-shopping for treatments that reflect a renewed focus on overall health as related to New Year’s resolutions and reset health plan benefits for the year.

“The more we examine shopping trends month-to-month, the clearer it is there are big seasonal milestones,” said Torben Nielsen, HealthSparq senior vice president of product and strategy. “We’d heard about Vas Madness through CNN and other publications last year, and it was really interesting to see such a spike in vasectomy treatment searches when some urologists even offer special incentives that include free pizza.”

HealthSparq announced in December that expecting moms are leading the health care shopping revolution, with labor- and delivery-related search terms ranking higher than any other treatment available to the HealthSparq national network of 67 health plans and more than 71 million people. Women also made up roughly half of vasectomy searchers.

The popularity of vasectomies shows a larger trend of the whole family using shopping tools to plan pivotal chapters of their lives, including whether – and how to – have children.

“People may see a vasectomy as a high cost procedure that is worth shopping for, but we’re also encouraged to see people comparison shop for simpler wellness treatments like chiropractic care and physical therapy, because costs for these services can vary significantly,” said Nielsen.

HealthSparq releases reports on health care shopping trends throughout the year. The trends described are based on search behaviors of over 71 million U.S. covered lives, or 24 percent of the U.S. population, according to 2014 census data.

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) based on their individual health plan, comparison shop for procedures and providers, 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.

HealthSparq’s tools allow you to compare doctors, clinics and hospitals by quality; find savings opportunities on over 400 medical treatments; see individualized procedures and costs based on your individual benefits on a treatment timeline; connect to doctors by video or phone, connect with people who are going through the same things in a dedicated community, and more.

Since our founding in 2008, from our home in Portland, Oregon, HealthSparq has grown to serve 67 health plans and their 71 million members nationwide. Interested in joining a health care revolution? Contact us at or tweet us @HealthSparq.