Magazine article Drug Topics

Consumers Seen as Growing Force in Health Care

Magazine article Drug Topics

Consumers Seen as Growing Force in Health Care

Article excerpt

Seventy-two percent of Americans believe they are influencing changes in the health-care industry, according to an 18-month study of the impact of consumers on health care, conducted by KPMG Peat Marwick LLP and Northwestern University.

Health-care industry leaders widely agreed, saying that consumers are influencing the policy, strategy, operations, and investment decisions of organizations in all segments of the industry.

The survey included interviews with 321 CEOs and senior executives and 70 health-care organizations, a health-care consumer survey of 1,812 U.S. households, and analyses of trends across industry segments and geographical areas.

Surprisingly, more than eight out of 10 U.S. consumers with health insurance said they were "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the quality of health care they received from physicians and hospitals, said Rich D'Amaro, managing partner of KPMG's Health Care practice.

But nearly one in three consumers in fair or poor health felt the quality of care is worse than it was three years ago, compared with nearly one in five healthy Americans. …

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