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New American Heart Association Survey Finds Heart Disease and Stroke Patients Face Significant Barriers in Obtaining Quality, Affordable Care
Date:2/11/2010

Patients Cite Affordability and Accessibility to Care as Top Concerns

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new American Heart Association survey substantiates that the need for health care reform has not gone away.  Many heart disease and stroke patients are faring poorly under the current health care system, with nearly two-thirds citing affordability as the top concern of those suffering from cardiovascular disease.  Ensuring the availability of insurance coverage and investing more in prevention ranked second and third, respectively.

"The survey should serve as a vivid reminder that too many Americans, including the insured and especially the underinsured, are simply overwhelmed by soaring medical expenses and inadequate coverage," said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association. "Many of these issues and concerns would be addressed through meaningful and comprehensive health care reform - and that's why it is so critically important that Congress act this year."

According to the AHA survey, more than half of all cardiovascular disease patients surveyed reported difficulty in paying for prescription drugs or other medical care in the past two years, with stroke patients more likely to report such difficulties.  Of those who had difficulty, half said it was because they couldn't afford their co-pays, deductibles or other cost-sharing, 41 percent said it was because their insurance plan didn't cover it, and 17 percent said it was because of out-of-network costs.

The survey also found that nearly half of cardiovascular disease patients who said they had difficulty paying medical expenses had delayed getting needed health care and filling a prescription, 42 percent had delayed a routine check up, and 31 percent had delayed a screening test that helps iden
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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