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Need for Health Care Reform Escalates; One in Four Americans Skip Care When Sick or Injured
Date:3/17/2009

Consumers Rate U.S. Health Care System Poorly, According to Deloitte Survey

WASHINGTON, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- As health care reform heats up in the White House, nearly 40 percent of consumers have expressed discontent with the status quo, rating the U.S. health care system a D or an F. A quarter of consumers have skipped care when they were sick or injured; two in five of those consumers have done so because they simply could not afford it, were not covered by insurance or thought the costs were too high, according to the results of the 2009 Deloitte Survey of Health Care Consumers (www.deloitte.com/us/2009consumersurvey).

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090317/NY84699)

In addition to skipping or delaying care, the high cost of health care is prompting many consumers to switch their physicians, prescriptions or health plans to save money. Of the 16 percent who switched physicians in the last year, one in four switched due to costs. Three in 10 switched medications in the past year; 38 percent switched to save money. Seventeen percent of enrollees changed health plans in the past year; 29 percent were seeking a lower cost plan.

"The current economic climate is taking a toll on American consumers prompting them to increasingly make decisions about health care that are married to their pocketbooks," said Paul H. Keckley, Ph.D., executive director, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. "Consumers want a bigger say in their health care decisions. More than half believe that 50 percent or more of the dollars spent on health care in the United States are wasted. The time for health care reform could not be more pressing."

More than 4,000 U.S. consumers 18 and over were surveyed as part of Deloitte's second ann
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SOURCE Deloitte
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