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Survey Reveals Both Common Ground and Gaps between Patient and Provider Outlooks on Healthcare

December 17, 2014
by John DeGaspari
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Many consumers use mobile health apps on the recommendation of their provider

Both providers and consumers feel some degree of anxiety about the future of healthcare, according to a  study released today by Booz Allen Hamilton and Ipsos Public Affairs. The study, “How We View Health Care in America: Consumer and Provider Perspectives,” is a collection and comparison of views from both consumers and healthcare providers, examines issues around controlling and reducing healthcare costs and investigates the role of technology and social media for consumers and providers.

Booz Allen and Ipsos Public Affairs fielded a survey in August 2014 to 1,000 consumers and 400 primary care providers, specialists and administrators. “This study was initiated to shed light on a basic issue: how consumers and providers perceive the future of healthcare,” according to Grant McLaughlin, vice president at Booz Allen, in a prepared statement. “What we found illustrates that both common ground and major gaps exist, calling for further examination.”

Survey findings reveal that only one-third of consumers (33 percent) and administrators (34 percent) think that the healthcare system is on the right track, while just one-quarter of primary care physicians (24 percent) and one in 10 specialists (10 percent) share that view. The report also details:

  • Viability of practice: Two-thirds of providers (67 percent) are satisfied with their current practice, although fewer (61 percent) believe that their organization is well positioned to succeed in a changing healthcare environment. They feel least prepared to participate in risk-sharing arrangements.
  • Controlling costs: All of the healthcare provider groups agree that controlling and reducing costs is essential, but they disagree on how to get there. More specialists (68 percent) cite tort reform, while prevention is seen as most promising for primary care doctors (61 percent) and administrators (76 percent). While administrators are top advocates of prevention, they also embrace many emerging practices in which physicians place little confidence. These include technology (66 percent), telemedicine (55 percent), accountable care organizations (57 percent) and patient-centered medical homes (56 percent).
  • The App Gap: Two in five consumers (39 percent) who have used a mobile app to manage their health in the past 6 months say that it was their healthcare provider that recommended these apps for them. While seven in ten consumers (71 percent) own a smart phone or tablet, only 22 percent of them use their devices to manage their healthcare or insurance. Exercise monitoring apps are the most commonly used by consumers who have recently used a mobile app to manage their health (59 percent), while smoking cessation apps (20 percent) are least likely to be used.

 The results of the study will be discussed in a webcast today.

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