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Healthcare Consumer Confidence Continues to Slide, According to Thomson Reuters Monthly Index


Ann Arbor, MI - Americans’ confidence in their ability to obtain and afford healthcare continued its decline in November, falling another point according to a consumer sentiment index produced by Thomson Reuters.

The Thomson Reuters Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index was launched in December 2009 with its baseline measurement set at 100. It declined to 95 by July and then rebounded to 100 by September. It subsequently fell to 97 in October and 96 in November.

The index, which is based on the Thomson Reuters PULSE™ Healthcare Survey, has two parts:

* A retrospective component gauges respondents’ experiences during the past three months. It tracks whether they postponed, delayed or cancelled healthcare services and whether they had difficulty paying for medical care or health insurance. Although fewer consumers reported the delay or cancellation of healthcare treatment, in November the overall retrospective sentiment composite fell to 96 -slightly below October levels and significantly below the December 2009 baseline.
* A prospective component gauges respondents’ expectations for the next three months. It assesses whether respondents believe they will be more or less likely to delay, cancel, or be unable to pay for healthcare services or insurance in the next three months. In November, prospective consumer sentiment fell to 96, down from 98 in October and 100 in September.

The healthcare services composite (a subset of the prospective component) also ebbed to its lowest point this year as more consumers predicted they will likely cancel doctors visits, diagnostic tests and therapies, and postpone filling prescriptions in the next three months.

The Thomson Reuters Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index is updated monthly. A full report on the November results is available here: Nov2010Index_CHSI-Electronic.pdf

The Thomson Reuters PULSE Healthcare Survey collects information about healthcare behaviors, attitudes and utilization from more than 100,000 U.S. households annually. It is representative of all U.S. adults and households. The Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index is based on responses from a survey subset of 3,000 respondents each month.

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