Healthcare consumer confidence on a decline

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The healthcare-reform bill promised to dramatically expand coverage for Americans, but healthcare consumer confidence hasn’t necessarily kept up, according to data released Monday by Thomson Reuters.

When Thomson Reuters started the Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index in December 2009, it had a baseline measurement of 100; that number fell to 95 by July but rebounded to 100 in September. But it fell to 97 and then 96 in October and November, respectively. The index is updated monthly, is based on the Thomson Reuters "PULSE Healthcare Survey" and has two parts, a retrospective component based on respondents’ experiences during the past three months and a prospective component based on their expectations over the next three months.

While fewer respondents said they delayed or canceled healthcare treatment over the past three months, they appeared more likely to do so over the next three months. The low number in November came as more respondents predicted they would cancel doctor visits, diagnostic tests and therapies, and postpone filling prescriptions.

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