Cost Matters to Many When Choosing Health Care

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Overall, 70% of respondents reported not being fully satisfied with their doctor-patient relationship.
Overall, 70% of respondents reported not being fully satisfied with their doctor-patient relationship.

HealthDay News -- The number one determining factor for selecting a doctor is whether the physician is in-network, according to a report published by Vitals.

More than 800 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older were polled to examine their satisfaction with their doctor-patient relationship and factors influencing their choice of doctor.

According to the article, the top factors in choosing a physician are being in-network (accepts your insurance; 63%), location (36.6%), doctor's bedside manner (34.1%), doctor education and credentials (29.5%), and availability and office hours (24.8%). 

About half of respondents (48%) reported using alternative medical facilities such as urgent care centers, retails clinics, or surgical centers. Overall, 70% of respondents reported not being fully satisfied with their doctor-patient relationship. Reasons to leave a doctor included lack of professionalism from office staff (57%), difficulty getting an appointment (47%), and long wait to the see doctor (45%).

"Despite an emphasis on keeping out-of-pocket costs low, most patients aren't minimizing costs they could face from deductibles," according to a news release issued by Vitals. "The survey found the majority of people don't ask about cost prior to an appointment, lab test, health screening or lab image, like an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging. However, 48% of survey respondents do ask about the cost of their prescriptions. In addition, nearly 50% don't know if their doctor can answer their questions about the cost of medical care, meaning they likely aren't having the conversation in the first place."

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