Healthcare Consumer Confidence Moving Back Up, According to Thomason Reuters Monthly Index

Americans’ confidence in their ability to obtain and afford healthcare has risen since lows reached in mid-2010, according to a consumer sentiment index produced by Thomas Reuters.

The Thomas Reuters Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index was launched in December 2009 with its baseline measurement set at 100. It reached a low of 95 in July 2010 but rebounded to 98 in January 2011.

The two components of the Index – retrospective and prospective – are showing different results: The retrospective sentiment index, which gauges respondents’ experiences during the past three months, declined from 99 in December 2010 to 97 in January 2011. The prospective sentiment index, which gauges respondents’ expectations for the next three months, rose significantly to 99 in January 2011, from 96 in December 2010.

“We’re turning a corner with fewer consumers reporting delays or canceled healthcare treatment”, said Gary Pickens, Chief Research Officer at Thomason Reuters. “As a result, consumers predict a significant improvement in their ability to pay for healthcare treatment and services in the coming months.”