The complexity of the U.S. health care system has another unintended consequence, even for those who are insured: They often don’t know whom to trust with important medical decisions.
This is one of the results of a recent study by health insurance services firm ConsumerMedical. The study was based on a survey of 1,000 American workers employed at companies across the U.S. with 500 or more employees.
The survey found that just 25 percent of employees would ask their health insurer for help after receiving a serious diagnosis. This is made even more complicated by another finding: 33 percent of respondents won’t trust their insurer’s recommendations for what to do next.
On the other hand, doctors do earn employees’ trust. Of those surveyed, 75 percent believe their own doctor is highly skilled. That trust is slightly lower for other physicians, as 59 percent of respondents stated that other doctors are not as skilled as their own.
Two-thirds of employees said that getting in touch with their doctor is easy. At the same time, 43 percent stated that their doctor doesn’t spend enough time with them once in the office.
When faced with a diagnosis, 45 percent of employees would seek a second opinion if they felt it necessary, but 59 percent simply don’t know where to turn to get one.
“These findings are not surprising,” explains David Hines, CEO of ConsumerMedical. “Given the complexity of today’s healthcare and the uneven playing field when it comes to knowledge of how to negotiate the system, it’s no wonder employees feel conflicted and confused. We’re just pleased to be able to do our part to help consumers identify sources of quality healthcare and obtain the care that’s right for them.”