NU Online News Service, March 21, 2:18 p.m. – Inability to get timely appointments may be the fast growing barrier to access to medical care.
The Center for Studying Health System Change, Washington, put out a report today emphasizing the barriers caused by the high cost of care and the lack of health insurance.
“Cost was overwhelmingly the main barrier to care for the uninsured,” Bradley Strunk and Peter Cunningham write in a center report. “More than half of people with insurance also cited cost as a barrier.”
The center surveyed 60,000 adult U.S. residents under age 65 in 1997, 1999 and 2001.
Researchers found that 15% of the uninsured participants and 4.4% of the insured participants reported delaying or going without needed care in 2001.
Among the participants with access problems, 62.6% cited worries about cost as a major obstacle. But that figure was little changed from levels of 62.4% in 1997 and 61.2% in 1999.
Although most uninsured participants with access problems cited cost as a major obstacle, the level of concern was about the same in all three surveys.