Is there a price on your patients’ loyalty?

May 15, 2013

Do your patients like you enough as a physician to pay more? Would they switch physicians to save money on their health plan?

Do your patients like you enough as a physician to pay more? Would they switch physicians to save money on their health plan?

That was the question posed in a recent HealthPocket survey that revealed that 34% of patients polled would rather reduce their health plan costs than keep their current physician. More than half of the 34% who would switch doctors for a price said they would do so for as little as $500 to $1,000 saved per year. Another 8% would hold out for $1,000 to $2,000 in annual savings, whereas a mere 7.5% say they would only switch physicians if they would save $3,000 or more per year. Another 40% of survey respondents said they would not change their doctor, no matter what the savings, and another 24% say they don’t have a regular physician.

The poll zeros in on some possible challenges once the Affordable Care Act fully takes effect, including the consumer selection process for health insurance and which physicians participates in which plan’s network of providers.

“Our poll found that while some consumers feel strongly about keeping their current physician, many others are surprisingly open to moving around based on cost,” says Steve Zaleznick, executive director for consumer strategy and development at HealthPocket. “Regardless of what happens with the ACA in terms of healthcare premiums, consumers will need to investigate their options to find ways to save money and determine whether their current doctor will still be covered under the plan they want.”

The survey polled 713 people via the Internet in April.

 

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