HealthNovember 19, 2019

National survey shows consumers and healthcare professionals worried about a fragmented and costly healthcare system

Wolters Kluwer survey finds consumers and providers are making healthcare decisions based on cost; Healthcare will be a deciding factor for their vote in the 2020 presidential election Consumers want relief from rising medication costs; however, soaring costs stem from errors, omissions and misaligned care teams.

Today, Wolters Kluwer, Health released new data from a survey of nearly 2,000 consumers, hospital executives, doctors and nurses in the U.S. on attitudes surrounding breakdowns in care, how costs shape care decisions and the influence of a broad lack of transparency within the healthcare system. Findings from the report, “Mending HealthCare in America 2020: Consumers & Cost,” showed alignment and deep divisions in how patients and providers view healthcare.

“Leading up to the 2020 presidential election, there has been a shift in attitudes surrounding out of control healthcare costs and a complicated and opaque healthcare system that erodes the trust of consumers and providers. Our national survey echoes this dissatisfaction, but also illuminates that those on the front lines of delivering care are taking diverging, and sometimes conflicting, paths to mitigate their concerns and prioritize actions,” said Diana Nole, CEO of Wolters Kluwer, Health.

“Mending HealthCare in America 2020” examines where each stakeholder observes breakdowns, inconsistencies and a lack of transparency throughout the system and, subsequently, how they make care choices around those perceptions.

Key survey findings include:

Differences in cost of care? Consumers and providers know it’s a problem.

98% of survey respondents across the board agree that healthcare is inconsistent and costs and care vary by location, health system and even within departments at the same hospital.

  • Two-thirds of consumers don’t believe they would be charged the same for a treatment or condition regardless of where they received care
  • 79% of physicians and nurses acknowledge that cost to the patient influences what treatments they recommend.
  • 87% of all respondents agree there is a lack of transparency in the pricing of healthcare services, including those who are prescribing care or medications

While hospital executives, nurses and physicians are most optimistic that tackling challenges in healthcare variability will lead to better patient outcomes, they are skeptical that it will lead to increased transparency in prices.

Consumers will head to the polls with healthcare in mind.

The majority of all four respondent groups say healthcare policy will be a main factor when they cast their presidential votes. Similar majorities say they will vote with their wallet, favoring the candidate who has a plan to respond to rising healthcare costs to them.

  • 89% of consumers believe the healthcare system needs an overhaul regardless of who wins in 2020
  • 73% of all survey respondents say the issue of healthcare will be a main factor when they vote for a presidential candidate
  • 78% of all respondents say they will vote for the presidential candidate who will respond to rising healthcare premiums and high deductibles

When patients take care into their own hands and it’s not what the doctor recommended.

Consumers are willing to go against doctor’s orders and seek care at an alternative facility when there are pricing differences or where care is more reputable.

  • 52% of consumers say the greatest risk to them is when they’re prescribed medications and don’t fill them because of cost.
  • 61% of millennials did not go forward with a medical treatment because they were concerned about the cost—nearly double the percentage of baby boomers (31%)
  • 4 in 5 consumers are likely to travel past the hospital closest to them to one farther away that has a better reputation (78%)

“Drug costs are the punching bag, but that is not what is driving up overall consumer costs,” said Dr. Peter Bonis, Chief Medical Officer of Clinical Effectiveness, Wolters Kluwer, Health. “Patients get different care depending on where they live or which hospital they visit – that is what is severely driving up costs. The demand is high for new approaches to ensure consistent care and cost.”

While consumers want hospitals to address rising medication costs, all stakeholders look to relief from differences stemming from these costly healthcare gaps:

  • Misaligned care teams (93% agree)
  • Gaps in patient health information to deliver better care (88%)
  • Poor care handoffs between professionals (85%)
  • Lack of information transparency (53%) – patient data is lost in transition across care settings

Survey methodology

In June 2019, Wolters Kluwer commissioned Regina Corso Consulting to conduct the only cross stakeholder survey of its kind looking across many facets of care. This online survey of various stakeholder groups was done in order to learn perceptions, attitudes and behaviors of these groups are about variability and risk in healthcare today compared to the past and the future. The survey comprised 1,837 respondents in total: 1,000 consumers, 18 years or older who are U.S. residents, 232 of whom were in a hospital for a stay or a procedure in the past year; 352 nurses, 100 of whom are nurse practitioners, 50 of whom are chief nursing officers or nursing directors, and 202 of whom are general nurses; 302 physicians; and 150 hospital vice presidents or higher. For the consumer group, the sample was balanced by age, gender, and region.

About Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer (WKL) is a global leader in professional information, software solutions, and services for the health, tax & accounting, governance, risk & compliance, and legal & regulatory sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services.

Explore related topics
Back To Top