The Employee Benefits Research Institute has released results from a consumer survey that finds some, but not overwhelming, consumer support and confidence in using publicly reported physician and hospital performance data in making personal-care decisions.
The 16-page report prepared by Paul Fronstin, director of the Health Research and Education Program at the EBRI and Ruth Helman, research director for Mathew Greenwald & Associates, is based on data from the 12th annual Health Confidence Survey and is drawn from telephone interviews of 1,000 adults taken in May.
A substantial majority (70%) of survey respondents indicated some level of comfort in relying on objective rating systems for selecting doctors and hospitals on how successfully they had treated their patients, but the plurality, 38% of respondents, was only somewhat comfortable vs. 11% who were extremely comfortable and 21% who were very comfortable. On the other end of the spectrum, 16% reported being not at all comfortable with relying on such measures and 11% not too comfortable with them.
Consumer attitudes toward the availability of information about outcomes of various procedures also ranked high with the survey respondents. According to the report, Nearly one-half (48%) report that the availability of information about the effectiveness of treatments when they are trying to choose a treatment would be extremely important, and another 32% report it would be very important. Fourteen percent report it would be somewhat important, while only 5% report that it would be either not too (2%) or not at all (3%) important.