May 7, 2013 - Four in 5 Americans (78%) would want to have a test done to diagnose a disease, even if there is no treatment or cure available, according to a survey conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Siemens Healthcare from April 9th to 11th, 2013 among 2,222 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.
The survey also found that 92% of Americans agree that “the value of knowing exactly what is wrong with their health is as important as having access to a doctor in the first place.” The study found Americans are even willing to pay out-of-pocket for medical tests that aren’t covered by their insurance in order to get a clear diagnosis.
“The survey findings show clearly that Americans want to know exactly where they stand when it comes to their health,” said Dr. Gregory Sorensen, CEO of Siemens Healthcare, who is also a board certified neuroradiologist. “As a physician, I know first-hand there is great value in excluding a diagnosis. This is a critical step to ensure that patients avoid unnecessary, expensive medical interventions."
Medical testing and imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scans, ultrasound, as well as clinical diagnostic tools to help diagnose cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, coronary disease, and other serious illnesses, have come under increased scrutiny as the nation examines healthcare expenditures. However, the survey results show that cost of the tests, the majority of U.S. adults see real value in diagnostic imaging examinations.
The survey found:
• Roughly two-thirds (66%)
of Americans would even be willing to pay out of their own pocket for tests to diagnose serious illness if there
were such a test but it was not covered by their insurance.
• Over half (56%) have had and/or someone in their family has had an illness or injury that was at least in part diagnosed using a medical imaging scan.
• Almost nine in ten Americans (87%) agree that ruling out a diagnosis can save money in costly treatments that may not have been needed.
• Eight in 10 Americans (83%) agree that even if medical technologies and tests are expensive, they save money in the long run by helping doctors to get to the right diagnosis more quickly.
Other key findings of the ‘Value of Knowing’ survey include:
• Women over age 45 are more likely than men of the same age to agree that the value of knowing exactly what is wrong is as important as having access to a doctor in the first place.” (99% of women age 45-54; 97% age 55+ compared to 92% and 91% of men, respectively).
• Eight in 10 Americans (80%) are concerned that the Government is making decisions about their medical care purely on the basis of cost; nearly nine in ten (89%) feel that way about insurance companies.
• Only 8% say that they and/or someone in their close family has been denied access to medical imaging device testing by a doctor or hospital; of those, more than half (59%) say it was due to cost, while the rest (41%) say it was for a medical reason.
“The results show that Americans, on the whole, are much more concerned about paying for medical care (72%) than about access to medical care (28%). At the same time, Americans have great faith in the benefits of medical testing and imaging as a means to a correct diagnosis,” said Dr. Sorensen.
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