Date Added: Jan 2010
Primary care physicians are still the "Trusted source" for most health care consumers, ahead of hospitals and health plans. They earn satisfaction ratings of more than 80 percent in the survey. But there are no guarantees of future consumer satisfaction. Consumers increasingly want services they currently aren't getting from many of their doctors which include greater access to information and email connectivity and other online options. Many are turning to retail clinics or alternative medicines as interest in alternative health care providers is high. Many Americans are inclined to switch or are actually switching doctors, and are relying more on other sources for information about health care quality and cost.18 percent say they switched to a new physician in the past 24 months compared to 41 percent say they might in the future; Nearly 25 percent of "Gen Y" participants in the survey said they changed physicians in the past two years; More than 1 in 5 switched treatments or prescription medications in the past 24 months;12 percent have used an insurance company site to check prices of services. Only 5 percent have consulted a physician Web site for similar information;"Gen Y" is particularly interested in shopping for price and quality by way of health plan Web sites. More consumers are willing to use retail clinics, citing cost and - more importantly - convenience.1 in 3 respondents say they would be willing to use a walk-in health clinic; Nearly 44 percent of those who have used clinics are between the ages of 30 and 49.