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North Carolinians Cutting Back on Needed Medical Services During Down Economy, BCBSNC Survey Finds
Date:10/20/2009

fewer prescription medications
  • 31 percent are refilling medicines less quickly
  • 18 percent are not going to the dentist
  • 17 percent are not seeking regular physical exams because of economic concerns
  • 17 percent are postponing medical tests or operations
  • The uninsured are considerably more likely to delay or do without medical services than those with coverage
  • The survey is in line with other recent findings on preventive health in North Carolina. In a study released in early October, the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation promoting a high-performing health system, dropped North Carolina's overall health ranking to 41st in the nation, down from 30th in 2007.

    The BCBSNC survey asked North Carolinians about their spending on personal health care in the midst of today's down economy. With unemployment rising and health costs increasing as a result of such factors as an inefficient and fragmented health delivery system, unhealthy personal choices and a payment system that rewards quantity over quality, an increasing number of Americans are expressing frustration over health care. The BCBSNC survey captured behavior and spending changes among the 501 North Carolinians who participated.

    Respondents without health insurance were considerably more likely to say they were delaying or doing without preventive health and other medical services.

    Among the uninsured, who represented 12 percent of respondents, 47 percent were postponing health screenings and operations, compared with 13 percent of those with coverage. And 43 percent of the uninsured were not seeking regular physical exams, compared with 13 percent who have insurance.

    "One of the most important takeaways from the survey is that preventive health should be given a high priority in health reform proposals," Bradley said. "Promoting health through prevention and healthy lifestyles is one o
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    Source: PRWeb
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