Consumers Confident About Health Care Services, But Questions Persist

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Consumers’ confidence in their ability to access and pay for health care services rose slightly last month, but concerns remain, according to the Thomson Reuters Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index. The Retrospective Sentiment Composite score component, one of three components that comprise the total confidence score, showed an increase over the prior month, rising to 98 points from 96 points in August. The retrospective score measures whether respondents were more likely to delay, cancel or be unable to pay for healthcare services or insurance in the previous three months. The other two components used to make up the index remained unchanged from August, at 98. These include the Prospective Sentiment Composite, which indicates respondents’ likelihood to likely to postpone, canc,el or be unable to pay for healthcare services or insurance in the next three months, and the Healthcare Services Composite, which indicates whether respondents are likely to delay healthcare services in the next three months. “The volatility that we have seen this year seems to be moderating, but is still present,” the report notes. “Economic worries both in the U.S. and in Europe are still high. As we head into the fourth quarter, consumers may simply be waiting to see if the other shoe will drop.” The index is based on the Thomson Reuters PULSE Healthcare Survey, which collects information annually from 100,000 households about health care behaviors, attitudes, and utilization. The sample is representative of all U.S. adults and households. The sentiment index, published monthly, is culled from responses contained in a survey subset of 3,000 respondents each month. For the complete index, click here: