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

one or more chronic conditions. Additionally, 57 percent indicated that they take one or more medications; however, only four in 10 say they take their medications as directed. This is coupled with the fact that less than half of consumers surveyed say they act in ways to make themselves healthier: 44 percent are trying to reduce stress, 44 percent are focusing on eating a healthy diet, 39 percent are putting an effort into managing weight and only 35 percent are exercising.

Additionally, consumers are beginning to test alternative sources for care often driven by lower costs. For example, 13 percent of consumers surveyed have visited a retail clinic this year and 30 percent said they would do so if it cost 50 percent or less than seeing a doctor in a doctor's office. Eight percent of consumers have traveled for care outside of their local community as "medical tourists," and 43 percent said they would be likely to do so if it would cost 50 percent or less than staying in their local area. However, only 1 percent said they have traveled offshore to receive care; and one in 10 say they would consider doing so if they could save money. One in five consumers also used an alternative or natural therapy to treat a health problem in the past year.

The framework of the study reflects a broad-based view of consumerism in six zones: (1) wellness and healthy living, including self-care and health management, (2) information sources helpful in consumer decision-making, (3) traditional health services provided by medical professionals, hospitals and retail clinics, as well as prescription medications and medical devices, (4) alternative health services sometimes described as complementary medicine, (5) insurance coverage and other financial considerations and (6) opinions about health reform.

Data across these six zones uncovered a variety of trends that influence how consumers view the health care system and areas they a
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SOURCE Deloitte
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