The Economic Crisis in the United States Has Reduced the Use of Routine Medical Care

The New York Times reports that the economic crisis in the United States has reduced the use of routine medical care. The Times reported that a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that “Americans, who face higher out-of-pocket health care costs, have reduced their routine medical care”. The cutbacks were generally correlated with the size of out-of-pocket costs, the researchers found. Also, 70 percent of hospitals reported fewer patient visits and elective procedures so far this year.

These findings correlate to the findings of radiology practices nationwide during the first half of 2010. Discretionary health care, including imaging, like other discretionary spending, is reduced in difficult economic times. What has changed, since the last major downturn, is the presence and prevalence of higher deductible health insurance plans. The full article can be viewed at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/17/health/policy/17health.html?_r=2&emc=tnt&tntemail0=y

ADVOCATE will continue to provide updates as they become available.

With best regards,
Kirk Reinitz, CPA
President/CEO