Being Sick Inside the Healthcare System

NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health recently conducted a poll to get a sense of what being sick inside the U.S. healthcare system is really like. You can read the story or listen to the report, or view the poll results. Notably, three-quarters of those surveyed who had a serious medical condition or who had been in the hospital in the last year said that cost and quality of care were very serious concerns. Nearly half said that they had experienced a financial burden because of what they had to pay in out-of-pocket costs.

The stories in the above report highlight a few of the problems inherent to our current system–missing sign-up deadlines and having to go without insurance, duplicated tests and procedures because medical records aren’t shared between providers, huge medical bills for life-saving treatment, and miscommunication among caregivers. Only half of those who responded to the survey said they were very satisfied with the treatment they received, and one quarter said that quality of care is not a problem in this country. As NPR points out, that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Do you have a story to tell about your experiences with the healthcare system? If you do, and you feel comfortable sharing, we would love to hear about it. You can leave a comment here, call our intake line at (402) 438-8853, or email me at jhancock@neappleseed.org.

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