Healthcare Consumer Confidence Continues to Rise, According to Thomson Reuters Sentiment Index

Oct 21, 2010, 05:00 ET from Thomson Reuters

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans' confidence in their ability to obtain and afford healthcare rose for the second consecutive month in September, reversing a downward trend that had prevailed in the first half of the year, according to a consumer sentiment index produced by Thomson Reuters.

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Thomson Reuters Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index declined 5 percent from December to July, then regained that ground by September.

"It's too early to call this a trend, but two months of increased confidence may auger growing optimism as we approach the end of the year," said Gary Pickens, chief research officer at the Thomson Reuters Center for Healthcare Analytics. "The next several months will show whether this optimism has legs."

In September, for the second month in a row, consumers expressed increased confidence that they could access and pay for healthcare in the next three months and fewer people reported that they had postponed or cancelled treatment in the past three months.

The index, which is based on the Thomson Reuters PULSE™ Healthcare Survey, has two parts:

  • A retrospective component gauges respondents' experiences during the past three months. It tracks whether they postponed, delayed or cancelled healthcare services and whether they had difficulty paying for medical care or health insurance. In September, retrospective consumer sentiment climbed to 100 on the index scale, up from 96 in July and 99 in August.
  • A prospective component gauges respondents' expectations for the next three months.  In September, prospective consumer sentiment climbed to 100, up from 94 in July and 99 in August.

The Thomson Reuters Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index is updated monthly. A full report on the September results is available here:

The Thomson Reuters PULSE Healthcare Survey collects information about healthcare behaviors, attitudes and utilization from more than 100,000 U.S. households annually. It is representative of all U.S. adults and households. The Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index is based on responses from a survey subset of 3,000 respondents each month. Its baseline measurement of 100 was set in December 2009.

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SOURCE Thomson Reuters