IBJNews

Consumers grow allergic to health care costs

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Lower use of health care by consumers in recent years is unusual, since health care used to be known as a recession-proof industry. But a recent survey by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions suggests that not only are health care consumers price-conscious, they’ve become increasingly so in just the last two years.

Deloitte surveyed 4,000 Americans in April, asking mostly the same questions as in previous years' surveys. The results were released in July.

The consulting firm found that 20 percent of consumers have cut back on health care spending and 75 percent say the economic slowdown has had some impact on their willingness to spend on health care.

One in four patients had delayed care for an illness or injury and of those, half said they did so because the cost was too high. In previous years, only about 35 percent cited cost as a reason they delayed care.

About 18 percent of consumers have no designated primary care physician, with more than one-third of those saying they can’t afford one. In 2009, only one-fourth said a primary care doctor was unaffordable for them.

One out of five patients has now used a retail clinic, such as MinuteClinic, and the same proportion use natural, homeopathic or alternative therapies in addition to the traditional health system.

Roughly two in every five patients have asked their doctor to prescribe a generic drug instead of a brand because of cost reasons. And the same proportion of patients has switched a brand-name prescription to a generic because of advice or a cost comparison given by a retail pharmacist.

Among health insurance customers, 82 percent now list the cost of premiums as their number one consideration when choosing a plan, up from 73 percent two years ago. The cost of a doctor’s visit is as important, being cited by 81 percent of customers.

And among consumers who switched insurance plans last year, 33 percent say they did so in order to pay less, up from 23 percent two years ago.

“Rising health care costs and the recent economic downturn are prompting consumers to scale back, skip care, and consider non-conventional options,” wrote Paul Keckley, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, along with co-authors Sheryl Coughlin and Laura Eselius.

Also, interestingly, consumers in Deloitte’s survey overwhelmingly reject the main notion that was used by President Obama to argue for his health reform plan and is now the rallying cry of the accountable care movement among hospitals and doctors: namely, that it is possible to improve quality and reduce costs simultaneously in the current U.S. health system. Fifty-five percent of respondents disagree, with fewer than 10 percent agreeing.

“U.S. consumers recognize that the health care system is costly, confusing, and delivers suboptimal service and value,” Keckley concluded.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Yes sir keep cashing those 300K a year checks direct to IMS, while millions disappear from the teams like Rahal's. Guess there wasn't enough ka- ching going around to keep Sarah Fisher in business without their "merger". LOL._____.Meanwhile back in Realville the series with the "best racing in the world" drew what appeared to be about 5000 live spectators ( and probably 1500 of those Target "freebies", and was beaten in the ratings by a series that reportedly consists of "parades" and aired while most people are still sleeping. That will generate those big ka-chings for sure. :-). But, hey, as long as the Speedway gets the cash who gives a damn about the teams?

  2. Welcome to PETERSON LOAN AGENCY Company (A Personalized Service for All Your Financial Needs) We, Liberal Investment Company Providers offers loan at a very low interest rate of 2%, we offer Personal loans, Debt Consolidation Loan, Venture Capital, Business Loan, Educational Loan, Home Loan, and Loan for any reason and urgent needs!. with a maximum duration of 30 years. Have you been turned down by your bank? Do you have bad credit? Do you have unpaid bills? Are you in debt? Do you need to set up a business? Worry no more as we are here to offer you a low interest loan. Our loan ranges from $5,000-USD (Five Thousand US dollars) to $50, 000,000.00.(Fifty Million US dollars). We also lend in USA DOLLARS EURO and POUNDS ! Fill in this form and forward it to our email: PETERSONLOANAGENCY@GMAIL.COM 1. Your Full names:_______ 2. Contact address:_______ 3. Country Of Residence:______ 4. Loan Amount Required:________ 5. Duration:_____ 6. Gender:_____ 7. Occupation:________ 8. Monthly Income:_______ 9. Date Of Birth:________ 10.Telephone Number:________ 11. Purpose of loan:_________ Yours In Service, MR PERRY, PETERSONLOANAGENCY@GMAIL.COM

  3. If I could actually get the prices...I would do this on my own. We need laws that force provides to publish the costs they will charge. Everyone else gives you the price in advance...except hospitals.

  4. I was under the impression that fencing is not allowed on a front yard and that on a corner, both sides are considered "front" yards, therefore can't be fenced without a variance. Also impedes the visibility for drivers at the intersection. Am I understanding this correctly? Might be why a fence was not included in the plans and a request for a variance will have to be made?.

  5. I was a big fan of Cowards and Carrots, which I got a chance to see at the show. It's currently on Kickstarter, but the designer also put out What's He Building in There last year, which got a fair amount of buzz.

ADVERTISEMENT