Medical treatment

Major spike in US adults skipping medical treatment due to cost

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According to the latest survey from the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization West Health and Gallup, the global analytics and advisory firm. Even about 20% of the nation’s highest-income households, those earning more than $120,000 a year, bear the cost of not seeking care, up from 3% during the same period.

The survey, the largest conducted on health care since the start of the pandemic, also revealed that the experience of COVID-19 has significantly shaped public opinion about the American health care system, that approximately 100 million of Americans would describe themselves as “expensive” or “broken”. .” Nearly half (48%) of Americans say their outlook on health care in America has deteriorated markedly due to the pandemic. An estimated 150 million Americans (59%) say they are now more concerned by the cost of health services and 45% are most concerned about the cost of prescription drugs. It is no wonder that more than half of the countries say that the high cost of health care contributes a little (36%) or a lot (15%) of stress to their daily life.

Still 60% report greater concern about growing inequalities in health care, a concern that reaches nearly 75% of black Americans and more than two-thirds of Hispanic Americans. An estimated 12.7 million people, or one in 20 American adults, report that a friend or family member died this year after not receiving treatment because they did not have the average, with black Americans twice as likely to know a deceased person as white Americans.

“Americans have reached their breaking point,” said Shelley Lyford, president and CEO of West Health, a family of nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations dedicated to lowering health care costs to enable successful aging. “Between March and October, the percentage of people reporting problems paying for health care, skipping treatments and not filling their prescriptions reached their highest level since the start of the pandemic, exacerbating another public health threat. due to cost rather than illness”.

This nationally representative survey of more than 6,600 U.S. adults (18 and older) comes as a new variant of COVID-19 emerges and the death toll from COVID-19 approaches 800,000. full results of this latest survey and comparative results of a series of previous surveys conducted over the past year were published today in the West Health-Gallup America’s Health Care Report 2021.

Despite attempts in Washington to address high health care prices through Build Back Better legislation, more than two-thirds of Americans, regardless of political affiliation, are pessimistic about the emergence of cost-cutting policies. In fact, nine in ten expect their costs to continue to rise, and 42% fear they won’t be able to pay for healthcare services in the coming year.

“This negative public sentiment did not form overnight or start with COVID-19. It has been decades since elected officials promised to do something to help Americans suffering from high prices. healthcare and prescription drugs,” said Tim Lash, chief strategy officer of West Health. “However, public opinion plays an important role in the political process, and if decision-makers listen, they have no choice but to act.”

National healthcare expenditure is nearly $4 trillion in this country, or about 20% of GDP, making it the most expensive healthcare system in the world.

“The sharp deterioration in public opinion regarding the affordability of care and medication is surprising and likely the result of a myriad of factors directly and indirectly related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dan Witters, lead researcher for Gallup. “From rapidly rising inflation, to delayed care pushed to 2021, to more people having to pay for COVID-19 care themselves, the US health care cost crisis is now reaching fever pitch. .”

Methodology

The findings are based on a nationally representative survey conducted over the Internet over successive field periods of September 27-30 and October 18-21 of 6,663 U.S. adults, ages 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the United States. District of Columbia, as part of the Gallup panel. For results based on these monthly samples of national adults, the margin of sampling error at the 95% confidence level is +1.5 percentage points. For reported subgroups, such as by age, political identity, household income, or race/ethnicity, the margin of error is larger, typically ranging from ±3 to ±5 percentage points.


1 in 5 Americans did not seek needed medical treatment during pandemic due to cost


Provided by West Health Institute

Quote: New Poll: Major Spike Among US Adults Skipping Medical Treatment Due to Cost (2021, December 14) Retrieved January 21, 2022, from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-12-poll-major-spike -american-adults. html

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