One in five Americans didn’t seek medical care for a recent illness or injury, often because of the cost, according to a survey of adults polled by a healthcare consulting firm, and the number of people who saw a doctor fell as well.
Four out of 10 adults said the cost was the main reason not to seek care, a trend that be driven by unemployment and health insurance costs, said a survey by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. They surveyed more than 4,000 adults. Also, 79 percent of respondents sought medical attention from a doctor or other health care professional in 2010, down from 85 percent in 2009.
Other findings include:
— 15 percent of consumers reported visiting a retail clinic and 34 percent said they would do so if it cost half as much as a doctor.
— 17 percent sought alternative medicine in 2010 before seeing a physician, up from 12 percent the previous year. More consumers use alternative remedies now, 20 percent in 2010 compared to 16 percent in 2009.
— While consumers are receptive to medical tourism, only 7 percent sought healthcare services outside their local community in the past year.
Meanwhile, the U.S. House will likely vote on a funding package to provide an additional $16 billion to bolster cash-strapped state Medicaid programs. (CNN)
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*