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New survey: 72 percent of Americans think health-care system needs major overhaul
Date:4/5/2011

New York, NY, April 6, 2011Seven of 10 adults think the U.S. health care system needs to be fundamentally changed or completely rebuilt, according to a Commonwealth Fund survey released today. The concerns reflect widespread experiences with access barriers, poorly coordinated care and growing costs. The survey also reveals strong support for more patient-centered care systems and innovative use of teams and information systems.

The new survey found that a large majority of U.S. adults have concerns about access, with 71 percent reporting problems gaining access to needed health care. These concerns included the inability to get timely doctors' appointments or advice from their doctor on the phone, or to obtain after-hours care without going to the emergency room. Nearly half experienced poorly coordinated care (47%), and more than half reported wasteful (54%) care. In addition, one in five reported they or a family member ended up with an infection or complication as a result of medical care, or said that a health care provider made a surgical or medical mistake. When asked about the future, three quarters of people surveyed (74 %) are worried they won't get high quality care when they need it, or that they won't be able to afford their medical bills if they become seriously ill.

"It's not surprising that people worry about the future, given the problems they are currently experiencing in the health care system," said report co-author and Commonwealth Fund Senior Vice President Cathy Schoen. "Health care is too often unaffordable, hard to get when needed, and wasteful or poorly coordinated. The good news is that the Affordable Care Act is focused on addressing many of these issues, with provisions encouraging the kind of health care people wantcare that is affordable, accessible, patient-centered, and well-coordinated, with clinicians working together in teams."

In the survey report, A Call for Change: The Commonwealth Fund 20
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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