Economic Slowdown Taking Toll on Dentists, Other Health Providers
Sacramento-area dentists are seeing slower practices because of tough economic times, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Gabriella Rasi, a Carmichael dentist, said she has taken a 10% hit on mostly elective-care and cash-payment patients.
Cathy Mudge, chief administrative officer of the California Dental Association, said that there is no data documenting a slowdown in dental patients but that dentists have mentioned declines in their practices (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 10/16).
Beyond California dentists, physicians nationwide also are reporting more patients delaying or going without care because of financial concerns, the Washington Post reports.
Earlier this year, a survey by the Rockefeller Foundation and Time Magazine found that the number of consumers who went without a prescription, used retirement savings to pay for health care or skipped a doctor visit for themselves or a child has risen since last year.
In addition, a survey by the Center for Studying Health System Change found that nearly 20% of Americans reported problems paying medical bills.
According to the Post, the economic downturn is pushing more consumers to delay elective treatments, skip regular screenings, split pills to make prescriptions last longer, and use home remedies or other lower-cost treatment alternatives (Connolly/Marr, Washington Post, 10/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.