Healthcare Analytics, Population Health Management, Healthcare Big Data

Population Health News

14% of Patients Avoid Chronic Disease Management Due to Cost

By Jennifer Bresnick

- Fourteen percent of American adults, or more than 16.4 million patients, have avoided seeing a physician for chronic disease management care in the past twelve months due to the cost of such a visit, finds a survey from Harris Poll and SCIO Health Analytics.  Confusion over health insurance purchased under the Affordable Care Act has left many patients uncertain about what services are covered under their plans and how to obtain information about the healthcare system that may encourage them to seek better care.

“These findings are particularly relevant at this time as millions of Americans are once again deciding their annual healthcare benefit options through Open Enrollment,” said Siva Namasivayam, CEO, SCIO Health Analytics. “While Americans are spending more time researching health plans, the survey reveals a significant knowledge gap in the specifics of their health care options that may eventually lead to unnecessary risks and costs.”

In addition to dodging chronic disease management, 40% of insured millennial-generation men have put off a visit to their physician for a general health concern due to worries over out-of-pocket expenses.  Only 27% of women in the same age group agreed with their male counterparts, but that number is still significant.

Close to half of adults aged 18 to 34 admitted that they don’t have a full understanding of what is covered under their plan.  Forty-four percent of all insured adults were unaware of their co-pay and out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs.  Sixty-one percent did not know their financial responsibility for a visit to urgent care or a walk-in clinic.

Nearly a third of adults get information about their healthcare costs directly from their physicians, which indicates that healthcare providers may have an additional responsibility to disseminate financial information if they wish to help their patients maintain contact with the healthcare system, receive primary care and chronic disease management services, and eventually see the rewards of accountable care.

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