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Posted on October 25, 2012 by West Corporation 


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TeleVox™ Study Reveals Many Americans Foresee A Troubled Healthcare System No Matter The President-Elect

Just-in-time consumer survey reveals healthcare Democratic/Republican voter opinion on the need for preventive care across the nation

MOBILE, Ala., October 19, 2012 — It’s an election year and the nation is humming about the issues most likely to sway the vote in November. Televox Software, a leading provider of patient engagement communications (EC) services, today released findings from a consumer study in its Healthy World Report titled, Health and Politics: How the 2012 Election is Shaping the Future of Preventive Care. The report addresses the need for preventive care across our nation and examines the Democratic/Republican voter opinion on the issue.

Apart from who wins the 2012 Presidential race, the TeleVox Healthy World study titled, Health and Politics: How the 2012 Election is Shaping the Future of Preventive Care, reports that many Americans don’t see our healthcare system getting better anytime soon — no matter who is voted into office. According to the study, more than three in four (78 percent) believe the country’s healthcare system will stay the same or worsen if a Republican takes over the White House, yet 72 percent feel this will also be the case if Obama remains our leader.

Common Ground

Though Romney has declared to repeal and replace Obamacare, research is showing that the two candidates don’t always differ on healthcare platforms. According to Political Analyst Doug McPherson, when it comes to outcome and performance incentives for hospitals and doctors, both candidates feel similarly.

Obamacare implements incentive programs in which hospitals receive rewards or penalties based on their ability to meet standards for high-quality care. Romney would not repeal this aspect, as he also believes in incentives and rewarding hospitals based on outcomes. Both candidates are also aligned on the topic of information technology within the healthcare system. President Obama is an advocate for electronic medical record systems and Romney also believes information technology will improve healthcare delivery.

Voters Divided

According to John Sides, Associate Professor of Political Science at George Washington University, Republicans will stand against Obama in November, regardless of what he did or does in his presidency; conversely, Democrats with qualms concerning Obamacare will still likely end up supporting Obama.

The new TeleVox study, Health and Politics: How the 2012 Election is Shaping the Future of Preventive Care, supports this assumption. United States Democrats feel strongly that to address the healthcare issues in our country, Obama must be re-elected. In fact, 87 percent of Democrats who participated in the study feel a shift in administration will cause our nation’s healthcare problem to worsen, while more than half (52 percent) of Democrats believe President Obama is making a difference and feel he will improve healthcare for Americans if re-elected.

When it comes to improving healthcare in America, Republican voters feel a change in administration is the only way forward. According to Health and Politics: How the 2012 Election is Shaping the Future of Preventive Care, 93 percent of Americans who consider themselves Republicans predict the healthcare system will stay the same or worsen if Obama remains president.

Another division is seen financially. Twenty-seven percent of Democrats feel that if Barack Obama is re-elected as our nation’s President, the cost for preventive care will decrease, while only 9 percent of Republicans see preventive care getting any cheaper. Forty-nine percent of Democrats see costs staying about the same, with only 26 percent of Republicans feeling the same. Twenty-four percent of Democrats think there will be an increase, while a large 64 percent of Republicans see a price hike in the future.

“Money is the driving force in decision making for U.S. health consumers,” said Scott Zimmerman, President of TeleVox. “The cost of any service can sway a decision whether or not to receive treatment no matter the severity of the condition. So there was little surprise when we uncovered that 77 percent of Democrats and 76 percent of Republicans agree that out-of-pocket cost is the primary factor when deciding whether or not they take a preventive care measure.”

Democrats: Health and Prevention

According to Health and Politics: How the 2012 Election is Shaping the Future of Preventive Care, 84 percent of Democrats reported feeling healthy, yet 47 percent said they are currently treating a disease. In addition, one third of Democrats have visited a healthcare professional in the last two years because they didn’t feel well and wanted a diagnosis for symptoms, with another third reporting as much as 5-9 yearly visits to a healthcare professional. Though the majority of Democratic voters reportedly feel healthy, statistics show a need for preventive care.

Only 53 percent of Democrats think that preventive care means educating patients on measures to prevent a specific disease or condition, so it wasn’t a shock that less than half of the Democratic population (47 percent) said they have never been screened for cancer, with only 23 percent having been screened for breast cancer.

“Patients need to know which covered preventive services are right for their age, gender, health status, as well as what is covered by their current health plan,” said Zimmerman. “With only 65 percent of Democrats and 70 percent of Republicans giving themselves an A/B grade for their efforts to ensure preventive care for themselves, education must be a focus for the next elected president.”

Republicans: Health and Prevention

The new TeleVox study, Health and Politics: How the 2012 Election is Shaping the Future of Preventive Care, found that 76 percent of Republicans agree that of out-of-pocket cost is the primary factor when deciding whether or not to receive preventive care. And with 96 percent of Republicans asserting that they believe preventive care is important for their families, it’s no wonder only 41 percent of Republicans feel our healthcare system will improve if Mitt Romney is elected.

According to Health and Politics: How the 2012 Election is Shaping the Future of Preventive Care, 86 percent of Republicans said they have visited a healthcare professional of some kind in the last two years, yet only 69 percent of Republicans report feeling knowledgeable about their insurance policy’s coverage of preventive care. So with 96 percent of Republicans having agreed that preventive care is important, there again exists the gap in patient-policy education.

Despite Who is Next in the Oval Office — A Focus on Preventive Healthcare is Key

One thing on which both Republicans and Democrats can agree — they aren’t as knowledgeable as they could be when it comes to knowing about their health insurance policy’s coverage of preventive care. Thirty-one percent of Republicans reported feeling unknowledgeable about what their plan offers and 30 percent of Democrats feel the same. Though nearly a third of both Democrats and Republicans are unsure of what their policies provide, over 95 percent of both parties asserted that preventive care is important.

Two in five Americans believe that costs for preventive care will likely increase, whether Obama or a new President wins the race. Nearly two in three (64 percent) Republicans think these fees will increase if Obama continues to be our president, compared to 24 percent of Democrats. And 48 percent of Democrats think this price will hike if there’s a shift in administration, compared to 31 percent of Republicans.

Creating a Healthy World

“No matter your political affiliation, prevention awareness will save lives, improve outcomes and reduce costs in the system. Patients want to be involved in their care, but want and need the tools to stay educated, encouraged and motivated to follow through for their own health. Text messages, phone calls and emails providing this type of support and involvement are exactly what patients want and are expecting from their doctors,” Zimmerman said.

Improving the collective health of Americans must be driven by forward-thinking healthcare practitioners who understand their involvement is critical to ensuring a healthy future for our country. According to Health and Politics: How the 2012 Election is Shaping the Future of Preventive Care, 59 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Republicans said that a doctor recommendation is the number one motivator in addressing a preventive care measure. Doctors must understand that patients are listening, and that engaging them between office visits will encourage and inspire them to follow and embrace treatment plans. Personalized and ongoing patient engagement will activate positive lifestyle changes that will help people of all ages lead healthy lives.

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About The TeleVox Study — Health and Politics: How the 2012 Election is Shaping the Future of Preventive Care

Health and Politics: How the 2012 Election is Shaping the Future of Preventive Care is based on a survey of a nationally representative sample of more than 1,015 Americans ages 18 and older. The survey was conducted using an email invitation and an online survey format. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.


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