Physicians least likely to think healthcare on the right track, survey shows

How do consumers and providers perceive the future of healthcare? This is the question that initiated Booz Allen Hamilton, in partnership with Ipsos Public Affairs, to examine both groups' perceptions of healthcare costs, the role of technology and social media and overall anxiety about the future of U.S. healthcare.

The report is based off a survey conducted in August 2014 among 1,000 consumers and 400 primary care providers, specialists and healthcare administrators. Highlights from the survey are shown below.

1. According to the survey, only 33 percent of consumers and 34 percent of administrators think the healthcare system is "on the right track," while just 24 percent of primary care physicians and 10 percent of specialists share that view.

2. Although about two-thirds of providers indicate satisfaction with their practices, fewer (61 percent) believe their organization is prepared to succeed in a changing healthcare environment, least of all in risk-sharing arrangements.

3. Controlling and reducing costs remains an essential and shared goal among provider groups, but many disagree on the best method to achieve this. Sixty-eight percent of specialists cite tort reform, while 61 percent of PCPs and 76 percent of administrators believe focusing on prevention is the best strategy. According to the survey, administrators are additionally embracing technology (66 percent), telemedicine (55 percent), accountable care organizations (57 percent) and patient-centered medical homes (56 percent).

4. The survey also found 39 percent of consumers who have used a mobile app to manage their health in the past six months say their healthcare provider was the one to recommend these apps to them. However, while 71 percent of consumers own a smart phone or tablet, only 22 percent of them use their devices for managing healthcare or insurance. The most commonly used apps to manage health are exercise monitoring programs (59 percent). Only 20 percent of consumers reported using smoking cessation apps.

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