Healthcare Consumer Confidence Improves Again in December, According to Thomson Reuters Sentiment Index

Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:26am EST

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Ann Arbor, MI  January 19, 2012 - Americans' confidence in their ability to access and pay for healthcare improved for the second straight month, according to a consumer sentiment index produced by Thomson Reuters.  

Respondents reported positive news when asked if they had experienced a reduction in or loss of insurance coverage in December. Overall, the Thomson Reuters Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index moved upward one point from 98 to 99.

"It's extremely encouraging to see high levels of across-the-board optimism from healthcare consumers in this month's report," said Gary Pickens, chief research officer at the Thomson Reuters Center for Healthcare Analytics. "We will continue to monitor these numbers closely over the historically volatile winter months to provide a window into the national mood on healthcare spending."

The index, which is based on the Thomson Reuters PULSE(TM) 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. In December, retrospective consumer sentiment held steady at 99.

·          A prospective component gauges respondents' expectations for the next three months.  In December, prospective consumer sentiment increased three points from 96 to 99.

The Thomson Reuters Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index is updated monthly. A full report on the December results is available here: http://healthcare.thomsonreuters.com/Indexes/assets/CHSI_December_Index_WEB.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. Its baseline measurement of 100 was set in December 2009.

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