Poll: Many Low-Income Californians Want More Choice in Medical Care
About 58% of low-income California residents say that if they had the choice, they would be interested in changing health care providers, according to a report released by the Blue Shield of California Foundation, HealthyCal reports.
The foundation surveyed more than 1,000 Californians ages 19 to 64 with annual incomes that are lower than 200% of the federal poverty level.
The survey found that among patients who seek care at community clinics, 73% are interested in changing health care providers if given the choice.
According to the survey, the strongest factor driving people to want to change health care providers is the lack of a regular personal physician. Among survey respondents without a personal doctor, 86% indicated interest in finding another health care provider.
The report also found that:
- About 40% of respondents said they currently do not have a choice in where they go for health care; and
- Low-income state residents tend to be less healthy than the general population, but they are no more likely to receive medical care.
Gary Langer of Langer Research Associates -- which directed the poll -- said the findings are significant because the federal health reform law will allow a large group of Californians to "have the ability to go shopping for health care for the first time in their lives."
He noted that greater choice in medical providers would create new risks and opportunities for health care organizations.
Peter Long -- president and CEO of the Blue Shield of California Foundation -- said the survey findings also suggest that community clinics and health centers should seek to be more responsive to patients, provide regular doctors and accept appointments (Weintraub, HealthyCal, 6/15).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.