April 20, 2009

More Than 20 Percent Of Americans Avoid Healthcare

A Thomson Reuters Healthcare survey released on Monday shows that 24 percent of adults have put off paying for medical care.

The primary reason for the delay of healthcare was cost, according to Reuters.

"The results of this survey have serious implications for public health officials, hospital administrators, and healthcare consumers," Gary Pickens of the Healthcare division of Thomson Reuters, who led the study, said in a statement.

"We are seeing a positive correlation between Americans losing their access to employer-sponsored health insurance and deferral of healthcare."

Overall, 12,000 Americans were surveyed between February and March. Pickens and colleagues said the participants represent an accurate depiction of the US citizens in general.

Pickens said if the trend of avoiding payment for healthcare continues, the "collective well-being" of the public could be endangered.

The last time Americans were surveyed on healthcare, 15.9 percent of people reported postponing or canceling medical care.

Additionally, the percentage of households with employer-sponsored insurance declined to 54.6 percent in 2009 from 59 percent in early 2008, the survey found.

Last month, Thomson Reuters announced the "Save $4 Billion" initiative aimed at reducing the cost of healthcare in hospitals by $4 billion over three years while improving the quality of care.

"A recent Thomson Reuters report indicated that 50 percent of U.S. hospitals are now unprofitable. We are undertaking this initiative because many of our hospital customers are under severe financial pressures," said Mike Boswood, president and CEO of the Healthcare and Science business of Thomson Reuters.

"By providing a free diagnostic analysis of hospital performance we hope to provide practical insights into how costs can be controlled or reduced without affecting quality."


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