Last month, the Massachusetts Medical Society released its findings on how hard it is to get in to see a primary care doctor in the state. Reminder: Often pretty hard.
Today, the society dropped the second shoe of its state-wide data on the health care system: So how are we feeling about it?
Today’s bottom lines: We’re still generally very satisfied with the care we get, but man, those medical bills are high and ever higher. And emergency room use is up 6 percent — not something that is supposed to happen under health care reform. From the press release:
Seven years into health care reform, and despite longer wait times for appointments with physicians, Massachusetts residents remain as satisfied with the health care they receive as they were before reform began and are finding access to the care they need without difficulty, according to a public opinion poll released today by the Massachusetts Medical Society, the statewide association of physicians.
The poll, seeking the opinions and perceptions of Massachusetts adults on a range of health care issues, also revealed that residents think the cost of care is the most important health care issue facing the Commonwealth, that residents have limited knowledge and unfavorable opinions of the new types of health plans and care models, and that more adults are using the emergency room for care.
The nuts and bolts:
The Society’s Public Opinion Survey of Health Care in the Commonwealth has been conducted periodically since 2003 as part of the Society’s continuing effort to gauge patient opinions of health care in the state. The 2013 survey was conducted by telephone May 14-16 and included 417 randomly selected interviews with adults 21 and over. Major findings:
Top Concerns: Cost and Affordability
When asked to choose among cost of care, access to care, and quality of care, 78% of respondents say that the cost of care is the most important health care issue facing Massachusetts today. When asked a separate, similar, open-ended question, 45% indicated that affordability is the most important issue.
65% of residents believe their health care costs are more expensive than last year, including 28% who think they are “much more expensive” and 37% who believe costs have increased “somewhat.” Continue reading