Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Americans value access to doctors, hospitals the most, survey says

From UPI:

Americans value access to doctors and hospitals the most when it comes to healthcare, a survey done for a health and science communications firm indicates.

The study by Russell Research for the Washington communications firm Spectrum required respondents to make a series of choices among a standard list of 27 services and products.

The approximately 1,000 U.S. adults who took part overwhelmingly identified access to physician services, medical services at a hospital and emergency care services, in that order, as their highest valued health priorities. The least valued health services included psychiatric services, vocational rehabilitation, services for mental retardation and substance abuse.

"Health reformers cannot afford to overlook how everyday constituents, when faced with difficult trade-offs, place a relative value on health services and products as they would spend their own money," John J. Seng, president of Spectrum, said in a statement.

The study also indicates:

-- 69 percent agreed that the cost of healthcare benefits and services are ultimately paid for by individuals who contribute in various ways.

-- The number of people with health insurance coverage dropped from 82 percent in January to 74 percent in April.

-- The percentage of people using products and services on a regular basis has generally fallen between January and April.

-- Americans value preventive health services strongly, but they do not use them on a regular basis and when they do use them they are not very satisfied.