Health insurance policies and practices are reducing access to medical care, driving up health care costs and increasing clinician burden and burnout, according to patients and clinicians surveyed by Morning Consult for the AHA.
Over six in 10 patients report experiencing at least one insurance-related barrier to care in the past two years, with four in 10 reporting worse health as a result. Most patients say they want their care provider, not their insurance company, to determine what care they receive; and over half report difficulty affording insurance costs and premiums.
Over eight in 10 nurses say insurers’ administrative policies delay patient care, three-quarters say they reduce quality of care and over half say their job satisfaction has decreased as a result. Over eight in 10 physicians say these policies affect their ability to practice medicine and make it difficult to operate a solo practice.
“These surveys bear out what we’ve heard for years — certain insurance companies’ policies and practices are reducing health care access and making it more difficult for our already overwhelmed clinicians to provide care,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “Health insurance should be a bridge to medical care, not a barrier to it for patients. If policymakers are serious about expanding access and addressing the health care workforce crisis, then we must hold insurance companies accountable for these harmful practices.”