Blog | Monday, August 9, 2010

QD: News Every Day--Costs dissuade patients from seeking care

One in five Americans didn't seek medical care for a recent illness or injury, often because of the cost, according to a survey of adults polled by a health care consulting firm, and the number of people who saw a doctor fell as well.

Four out of 10 adults said the cost was the main reason not to seek care, a trend that be driven by unemployment and health insurance costs, said a survey by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. They surveyed more than 4,000 adults. Also, 79% of respondents sought medical attention from a doctor or other health care professional in 2010, down from 85% in 2009.

Other findings include:
--15% of consumers reported visiting a retail clinic and 34% said they would do so if it cost half as much as a doctor.
--17% sought alternative medicine in 2010 before seeing a physician, up from 12% the previous year. More consumers use alternative remedies now, 20% in 2010 compared to 16% in 2009.
--While consumers are receptive to medical tourism, only 7% sought health care services outside their local community in the past year.

Meanwhile, the U.S. House will likely vote tomorrow on a funding package to provide an additional $16 billion to bolster cash-strapped state Medicaid programs. (CNN)