INDIANAPOLIS-Hoosiers are generally satisfied with their doctors and hospitals, but access to care and the cost of coverage are still gnawing concerns, new research shows.
The study, called Indiana Eye on Patients, was commissioned by the Indiana Hospital and Health Association, the Indiana State Medical Association and the Indiana University School of Medicine.
The study was based on focus groups, which included 113 participants in eight Indiana cities, and a telephone survey of 1,000 people.
It found that for some, healthcare still leaves something to be desired.
Overall, while 52% of respondents described their relationship with their primary-care doctor as "excellent," far fewer black survey respondents felt that way.
Only 39% of black consumers said their relationship was excellent, compared with 51% of white respondents.
"It obviously is one area where we as physicians do need to pay attention to these results and find ways of improving and making those differences go away," said Barney Maynard, M.D., immediate past president of the state medical association and a urologist in Evansville.
Hospitals didn't fare much better.
More than 50% of the survey respondents or a member of their immediate family had been hospitalized within the past three years, but only 34% described the experience as excellent.
Only 28% of black respondents rated their hospital experience as excellent.
The study also found that patients' relationships with physicians are fragile.
Respondents complained that large group practices have further compromised the doctor-patient relationship.
And when patients are unhappy with their physicians, they make changes quickly.
Of those surveyed, 83% said they would be likely to dump a physician.