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Consumer confidence to pay for health care hits new low

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 2, 2010

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Patients are increasingly less likely to believe they have the financial resources to pay for medical services, according to the Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index issued June 28 by Thomson Reuters.

The index, which fell to 96 in May, is based on questionnaires completed by a demographically representative sample of 3,000 households. Respondents were more likely to believe that they would delay or cancel doctor visits, tests, surgeries and therapies within the next three months, and were more likely to have delayed, canceled or been unable to pay for insurance and medical services within the previous three months.

"We believe this reflects the continued effects of the economic downturn and possibly uncertainty about the effect of health care reform," said Gary Pickens, PhD, chief research officer at Thomson Reuters' Center for Healthcare Improvement.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/08/02/bibf0802.htm.

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