RARE Daily

U.S. Adults Spend Eight Hours Monthly Coordinating Healthcare, Poll Finds

May 22, 2023

Rare Daily Staff

U.S. adults spend the equivalent of an entire eight-hour workday per month coordinating healthcare for themselves and/or their family or loved ones, according to a new patient experience survey conducted for the American Academy of Physician Associates by The Harris Poll.

“So much has changed in healthcare since the pandemic, and the focus has largely been on the strain that healthcare teams are experiencing,” AAPA CEO Lisa Gables said. “Certainly, we have to address that as we know it impacts the resiliency and strength of our healthcare workforce. However, AAPA wanted to understand from the patient perspective what is and isn’t working in healthcare today.”

The survey also found that 65 percent of U.S. adults feel managing healthcare is “overwhelming” and “time-consuming.” This number jumps to 76 percent among younger adults aged 18 to 34. On average, patients who cannot get an appointment in the same week end up waiting just under a month for needed medical appointments.

Gables said understanding patient experiences is vital for physician associates/physician assistants (PAs) to identify solutions for improving access to care and overall patient outcomes.

The survey found that more than two in five adults (44 percent) have skipped or delayed care they needed in the past two years. This percentage is higher among Latino adults with 53 percent reporting they have skipped or delayed care.

The U.S. healthcare system is stretched thin. The public is worried about how this will impact their care in the future.

Nearly three quarters of the participants (73 percent) said the healthcare system fails to meet their needs in some way. Nearly as many (71 percent) worry that the demands on healthcare providers are too great.

Delay of care is common. Interacting with the system – including paying for medical services – is a key factor in why people delay care. Some 61 percent say they only seek healthcare when they are sick. And nearly half (44 percent) said they have skipped or delayed care in the past two years. The most common reasons for doing so were worried about the cost (40 percent) and inability take time away to see a provider due to other responsibilities (30 percent). Of the adults who skipped or delayed care, 60 percent said they experienced some kind of impact.

One in five care coordinators said that as a result of helping someone navigate care they had to take time off work (23 percent among those employed) and their own health suffered (19 percent).

When care is received, patients don’t always feel listened to or seen. Some 64 percent said they wished healthcare providers took more time to understand them and nearly half (49 percent) said they don’t always feel listened to by healthcare providers.

The research was conducted online in the U.S. among 2,519 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older. The survey was conducted from February 23 to March 9, 2023. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris surveys.

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