Many low-income state residents want a closer connection with their health care providers, according to a new poll funded by the Blue Shield Foundation of California, HealthyCal reports.
The poll surveyed 1,024 low-income residents ages 19 to 64 between March 12 and April 18. It was managed by Langer Research Associates of New York.
According to the poll, patients often feel disconnected from their health care providers. They want a personal relationship with a provider who knows their name, their ailments and what treatments have been attempted in the past, according to HealthyCal.
The poll found that 80% of respondents said it is important to have someone at a health care facility who "knows you pretty well," but only 38% of respondents reported having such a connection.
The poll also found that:
- 50% of respondents who receive health care services at a private physician's office reported having a personal connection with their doctor;
- 38% of respondents who receive health care services at a community clinic reported having a personal connection with their doctor; and
- 36% of respondents who use Kaiser Permanente reported having a personal connection with their doctor.
According to the poll:
- 81% of respondents said they would be willing to try a team-based approach to treatment, which incorporates physicians, nurses, medical assistants, dieticians and health outreach workers;
- 94% of respondents who already receive team-based health care services said they are satisfied with their treatment;
- About 16% of respondents said they have a so-called health care "navigator" to help guide them through the medical system;
- 91% of respondents who have a navigator said they are satisfied with the service;
- About 60% of respondents said they would be willing to substitute a phone conversation for a personal visit to a health care provider to discuss routine health matters; and
- About 60% of respondents said they would be willing to use email and the Internet to schedule appointments, review their health records and renew prescriptions, but only 5% of respondents said they are doing so currently.
Implications of Poll
Peter Long -- president and CEO of the Blue Shield of California Foundation -- said, "People are open to new models of care." He added, "They want a good relationship and an ongoing connection [with health care providers]. And when they have these things, they are willing to take more responsibility for their own care."
Gary Langer, president of Langer Research, said the results of the poll are especially relevant because more low-income residents are expected to gain access to health insurance under the federal health reform law (Weintraub, HealthyCal, 7/9).