Blog | Monday, October 22, 2012

QD: News Every Day--Chances are patients don't blame their doctors for high health care costs

Patients seem to be clear on what's driving the cost of health care.

When given a list of factors that contribute to health care costs, 75% of survey respondents who had a primary care provider said that insurance companies were "very" or "completely responsible," 74% said that pharmaceutical/drug companies were "very" or "completely responsible," 62% said that the cost of malpractice insurance was responsible, and 59% said the government was responsible.

Only 30% felt that physicians were responsible (with one percent saying "completely responsible," plus 29% saying "very responsible").

Results were published online by the study's sponsor, The Physicians Foundation.

Among the findings:
--79% said that they were "very satisfied" or "extremely satisfied" with the visit(s). Only one percent said that they were "not at all satisfied."
--Twice as many respondents said that insurance companies were a negative influence on the quality of patient care, 55% vs. 27% who said that insurers were a positive influence.
--Respondents felt the Affordable Care Act would have a negative impact on health care. While 35% had no opinion regarding the impact of the new law, among the 65% who did, 60% feel the impact of the law will be negative, vs. 40% who believe the impact will be positive.

Results were based on responses of 2,236 adults that completed a survey in July 2012, selected from among people who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. In this group, 78% had a family physician or primary care doctor. Of these, 95% had health insurance, with half having employer-offered coverage, 23% having Medicare (46% of those 55 years of age and over), nine percent having a self-paid/individual plan and five percent having Medicaid.

Ninety-four percent of patients with a primary care doctor had seen that provider at least once in the past year, and the average number of visits was 3.5.