News | August 12, 2007

Less Than Half of Americans Fully Satisfied with Medical Care

August 13, 2007 — Only 48 percent of Americans age 18 and over who had gone to a doctor or medical clinic within a year of being surveyed rated their healthcare 9 or 10 on a scale in which 0 was the worst possible care and 10 the best, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Patients' perceptions of quality varied by race, ethnicity, and type of insurance.

Only about a third of Asians (31 percent) and American Indians and Alaska Natives (37 percent) rated their care a 9 or 10, compared with less than half of whites (49 percent) and blacks (46 percent). Just 43 percent of Hispanics reported that they were receiving high quality healthcare.

Slightly less than 60 percent of people age 65 and older who have Medicare, with or without additional private or public health insurance, rated their care the highest, compared with 46 percent of privately insured patients and 39 percent of uninsured Americans.

Men and women rated were nearly equal in how they viewed the quality of their care, respectively, 46 percent and 49 percent saw their care as excellent.

This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on data from the 2006 National Healthcare Quality Report, which examines the quality of healthcare across America in four key areas - effectiveness of healthcare, patient safety, timeliness of care, and patient centeredness.

For more information: www.ahrq.gov

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