Health care consumer confidence slipping

Americans’ confidence in their ability to access and pay for health care remained unstable in the second quarter of 2012, according to a consumer sentiment index produced by Truven Health Analytics, formerly the health care business of Thomson Reuters.

The Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index—which measures consumer attitudes toward health care access, use and payment—has been slipping since April, when consumer confidence jumped to a record high of 103. It since leveled off to 102 in May, then 100 in June.

The retrospective composite of the CHSI declined the most between April and June, falling below the baseline value of 100 in June. Postponing or cancelling health care treatments and prescription drug refill delays were the main drivers behind the decline in the retrospective sentiment composite.

“Despite continued volatility, the second quarter of 2012 has been one of the most positive stretches we’ve seen since we initiated the index four years ago,” says Gary Pickens, chief research officer at Truven Health Analytics. “To see overall sentiment at or above the 100 baseline level for a full quarter is very encouraging.”

The Truven Health PULSE Healthcare Survey collects information about health care behaviors, attitudes and utilization from more than 100,000 U.S. households annually.


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