Quality pay for quality care?

An occasional snapshot of current facts and trends in medicine.

Quick View. Posted April 24, 2006

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Americans say they want higher quality care, but they're not willing to pay more for it.

Question Response 2003 2006
"Do you favor or oppose health insurance plans paying more to hospitals and medical groups that have been shown to provide better care and paying less to those that have not?"
Favor 44% 33%
Oppose 16% 13%
Not sure 40% 54%
"Do you think there are fair and reliable ways to measure and compare the quality of care provided by different hospitals and different medical groups?"
There are fair and reliable ways 58% 49%
There are not fair and reliable ways 11% 16%
Not sure 31% 35%
"Do you think it would be fair for patients to pay more to be treated by medical groups or hospitals which have been shown to provide better care or not?"
Fair for patients to pay more 18% 19%
Not fair for patients to pay more 64% 57%
Not sure 18% 24%
"Would you be willing to pay a significantly higher premium for a health insurance plan which covered you to go to hospitals and medical groups that have been shown to provide superior care?"
Would be willing 16% 14%
Would not be willing 60% 55%
Not sure 23% 31%

A recent Harris Interactive/Wall Street Journal poll of 2,123 U.S. adults showed some would like to see health insurance plans pay physicians and hospitals more for providing quality care, but few said they would be willing to pay a higher premium as a result. Survey results are compared with responses from 2003.

Note: Percentages might not add up to 100% because of rounding.

Source: Harris Interactive/Wall Street Journal poll

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