Survey reveals physicians' frustrations over financial worries

December 7, 2010

Nearly 95 percent of American physicians report that their patients have rationed or gone without medication or treatments in the past six months due to financial concerns, according to a survey conducted by MDLinx, one of the country’s largest doctor portals.

Washington - Nearly 95 percent of American physicians report that their patients have rationed or gone without medication or treatments in the past six months due to financial concerns, according to a survey conducted by MDLinx, one of the country’s largest doctor portals.

In October, MDLinx surveyed 500 U.S. primary care physicians about their patients’ financial concerns over the previous six months. In addition to the aforementioned finding, nearly 98 percent of respondents reported a rise in their patients’ concerns over finances, while 95 percent said they had invested more time and effort in the financial planning of patients’ treatments in the previous six months than they ever had previously.

In an MDLinx press release, Aki Tomaru, CEO of MDLinx owner M3 USA, said, “This sort of near unanimity in polling results is almost unprecedented. The level of concern and even anger in the comments from our responding physicians was quite surprising.”

Some physicians reported that patients are taking their medications every other day, rather than daily. Some doctors said they have written prescriptions for double the normal strength and instructed their patients to cut the pills in half, so that the medication would last longer.

Still others reported that some patients are choosing between buying medication or paying for food and bills, and doctors’ offices are postponing needed equipment maintenance and repair due to worsening practice management costs.