Why Americans Aren’t Going to the Doctor
According to this post on the Wall Street Journal Health Blog, Americans are continuing to utilize fewer medical services – even as the economy is showing signs of improvement. That means another factor or two must be at play … and they contend that’s “a drive by employers to push onto workers a larger share of health costs,” as well as an “unusually mild flu season.”
All blame aside, the post goes on to state that reduced demand is bad for hospitals – which is true (I don’t think anyone would argue that point).
But the real concern these reports fail to mention is that a decline in health care usage is also bad for patients. By putting off routine preventive care or ignoring health concerns until it’s too late – just to save a couple of bucks – patients may not receive the right diagnoses until it’s too late for the cheaper treatment options – or, in some cases, any treatment options at all. Most of us in the health care industry can cite at least one example of a patient who did or did not seek treatment in time – and what it meant for their ultimate prognosis. Unfortunately those warnings just aren’t proving to be enough of a reason to convince most Americans to get in and see their doctor.
So we’re curious – do you still go to the doctor as often as you should? Or are you one of the millions of Americans putting off your care?