Forty-two percent of surveyed U.S. voters said the federal government should curb health care costs by reducing the amount of money invested in health IT, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute, Healthcare Finance News reports (Anderson, Healthcare Finance News, 11/28).
The report is based on an online survey of 1,202 registered U.S. voters.
Sixty-nine percent of respondents said that during President Obama's second term in office, he should prioritize lowering health care costs (Punke, Becker's Hospital Review, 11/28).
Researchers Comment on Health IT-Related Findings
The PwC researchers stated that the survey "reveals a gap in public attitudes and the agenda in Washington." The report noted that the federal government has undertaken major investments in health IT, including an additional $28 billion budget for health IT initiatives through 2015.
The report stated, "Most industry experts believe that interoperable digital records and sophisticated clinical informatics will lead to improved health outcomes and eventually, lower costs." It added, "Early studies suggest that real-time electronic data can help improve patient compliance, reduce medical errors and speed accurate diagnoses. However, voters do not seem to have gotten that message."
Additional Survey Findings
The survey asked voters about other methods to reduce health care costs and found that:
- 31% support reducing spending on public health and prevention programs;
- 27% support cuts to subsidized care, including Medicaid, for low-income individuals; and
- 21% support reductions to research and development investments for new drugs.
In addition, the survey asked voters about their perception of the Affordable Care Act and found that:
- 43% said the law should be modified;
- 36% said the law should be repealed full; and
- 21% said they supported the current law (Healthcare Finance News, 11/28).