TeleVox technology can help doctors engage uninsured patients by providing education and awareness to prevent serious health conditions
- No Insurance Equals Less Self Care: Those with health insurance exercise more routinely and are more likely to have improved their eating habits over the past two years than those without insurance.
- Unhealthy and Unemployed: Forty percent of those without work said that cost is the main reason they don’t seek preventive care, and only 26 percent of the unemployed give themselves an A grade for their efforts to ensure preventive care for themselves.
- Prevention for Parents: Eighteen percent of parents said they still aren’t sure what preventive care includes, and 34 percent are currently visiting a healthcare professional to treat an existing condition or disease.
- Early Prevention and a Healthy Future: Only 19 percent of young adults in the U.S. consider themselves extremely healthy, and 29 percent are visiting a healthcare professional to treat an existing condition.
MOBILE, Ala., April 9, 2013 — Nearly one in four adults in the U.S. are currently without health insurance (24 percent), and only 33 percent of those without insurance have visited their primary care physician in the past two years, according to a Healthy World Report released by Televox Software, a leading provider of patient engagement communications (EC). The report, A Prevention Problem: Uninsured Americans Forgo Steps to Ensure Healthy Future, found that less than 1 in 5 uninsured adults consider themselves to be extremely healthy, and almost half of the adults surveyed admitted they are currently treating a disease or chronic illness — such as high blood pressure, a heart problem, diabetes or cancer — that could have been avoided or reduced in severity with the proper preventive measures. A Prevention Problem: Uninsured Americans Forgo Steps to Ensure Healthy Future offers a deeper look into how the lack of prevention is plaguing the U.S., specifically for the uninsured, the unemployed, parents and younger generations.
“While the use of preventive care may seem to be the obvious choice for U.S. health consumers, the problem arises in the fact that many Americans are not taking advantage of this vital aspect of the wellness process,” said Scott Zimmerman, president of Televox Software “This study uncovers that prevention isn’t a priority for many — especially for the uninsured — and a lack of focus on preventive care is making America less healthy. Improving the collective health of Americans will be difficult and will be driven by forward—thinking healthcare providers who understand that doctor—patient engagement is key to ensuring a healthier future.”
Unhealthy and Unemployed
A Prevention Problem: Uninsured Americans Forgo Steps to Ensure Healthy Future found that though 75 percent of those without jobs are receiving some sort of health benefits, 15 percent of the unemployed are completely uninsured, and more unemployed adults are on Medicaid (17 percent) than those who are employed (10 percent). In addition, only 20 percent of those without jobs reported having optical insurance, and only 31 percent reported having dental insurance. Specific healthcare steps, such as optical and dental check—ups, are essential variables in the entirety of the preventive process because these check—ups can uncover early warning signs of serious conditions.
“Many people rely on their employers to help provide health insurance, so when a person is unemployed, their health often takes a back seat to priorities such as paying for housing, food and utilities,” Zimmerman said. “During this time, a condition they currently have may worsen, or they may develop a disease that could have been prevented with regular medical check—ups.”
Though A Prevention Problem found that 96 percent of those who are unemployed feel that preventive care is important, 22 percent are still unsure what prevention actually includes. Many without work said that cost is the main reason they don’t seek preventive care (40 percent), with 72 percent of unemployed adults agreeing that out—of—pocket cost is the primary reason they decide whether or not to seek preventive care. With that, another 18 percent said they don’t receive preventive measures because they don’t have insurance. Despite these findings, the study also showed that 90 percent of those who are unemployed agreed that taking proper preventive care measures saves patients money and think it is less expensive to prevent a serious condition or disease than it is to treat it. Still, twice as many people who are unemployed have a condition they are currently not treating (7 percent) than those who are employed, and 48 percent without work have never been screened for cancer.
Prevention for Parents
Though 95 percent of the parents surveyed for A Prevention Problem: Uninsured Americans Forgo Steps to Ensure Healthy Future said they feel preventive care is important for themselves, and another 97 percent said they feel prevention is important for their children, many agreed that out—of—pocket cost is the primary deciding factor when choosing whether to seek out preventive measures. And though A Prevention Problem found that 94 percent of parents agreed that taking proper preventive care measures saves patients money and think it is less expensive to prevent a serious condition or disease than it is to treat it, over half (51 percent) have never been screened for cancer.
“Between work and family activities, many moms and dads let their own health suffer and put preventive care at the bottoms of their to—do lists,” said Zimmerman. “But in order to be there for your family, you have to be healthy, which means it is necessary to participate in preventive care measures.”
This lack of prevention awareness among parents is leading to an increased amount of sickness, which can add to the already—stressful life of a parent. According to A Prevention Problem, 40 percent of parents in the U.S. admitted they are currently treating a disease or chronic illness, such as high blood pressure, a heart problem, diabetes or cancer. Forty—six percent are taking prescribed medication on a daily basis, and only 18 percent of the parents surveyed consider themselves extremely healthy. Some parents surveyed said that unfortunately, the reason they don’t pursue prevention is because they don’t have health insurance (16 percent), and sadly 47 percent of parents admitted they just can’t afford it.
Early Prevention and a Healthy Future
Though prevention is important at every age, and in most cases becomes a higher priority as people get older, it’s important for the younger generation to learn about the benefits of prevention, so as to start to develop positive habits early and improve the overall future health of our country. A Prevention Problem: Uninsured Americans Forgo Steps to Ensure Healthy Future found that though 95 percent of Generation Y, or those roughly ages 18—24, feel that preventive care is important, only 15 percent give themselves an A grade for their efforts to ensure preventive care for themselves. And though 78 percent of Gen Yers have visited a healthcare professional of some kind in the last two years and say that a doctor’s recommendation is their main reason for seeking preventive care, nearly 1 in 4 young adults said they still aren’t sure what constitutes prevention.
A Prevention Problem found that though 50 percent of Gen Yers said they want to practice preventive care because they want to be as healthy as possible, only 53 percent of young adults said they exercise routinely or at least three times a week. A massive 29 percent are visiting a healthcare professional to treat an existing condition, and 70 percent have never been screened for cancer. Point being — we as a nation are getting sicker, less mobile and more obese. Education and awareness must be a priority among schools, parents and the media to spark interest in healthy living at a young age.
Creating a Healthy World
No matter your age or gender, preventive action will not only improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs, but it will also improve quality of life and save lives. Patients want to be involved in their care but need the tools to stay educated, encouraged and motivated to follow through for their own health. Text messages, phone calls and emails from physician get patients’ attention while providing this desired support and involvement.
Increasing patient communication efforts will require forward—thinking healthcare practitioners who understand that their continued involvement is critical to ensuring a healthy future for our patients. Many physicians understand that engaging patients between office visits can inspire them to embrace and build the habits to follow through with treatment plans. They know personalized, ongoing engagement can activate positive lifestyle changes that will help people lead healthy lives.
- Download the full report for a deeper look at the findings: www.televox.com/resources/healthy—world
- To arrange an interview with Scott Zimmerman, President of TeleVox, to discuss these study findings in more detail, please contact Robby Trail from Jones PR at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 402—507—5094.