Despite strong interest among Americans to take an active part in their healthcare, many said they do not believe they can affect the cost or quality of their healthcare, two surveys found. The surveys were done for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. One survey from policy think tank Rand Corp. found that 61% of consumers searched for information to help them make treatment decisions and about one-third used the information they culled to make healthcare decisions. A separate survey from public-opinion researcher Peter D.
Hart Research Associates, however, found that half of those polled said they do not believe they can affect the quality of their care and 65% said they do not believe they can affect the cost of healthcare. Hart also found that 68% favored rewarding doctors for using best practice guidelines, a finding that supports the CMS' plans to move ahead with pay-for-performance initiatives. The survey did not ask about rewarding hospitals, but 87% of respondents said it is important that hospitals apply best practice guidelines. -- by Tony Fong