OPB recently asked some listeners how their jobs have been affected by the recession. Several physicians responded that their patients were increasingly delaying or forgoing medical care. Nathan Boddie, a physician in Bend, told OPB:
As a physician who often cares for uninsured or underinsured patients, I see an increase in medical bankruptcy, lack of care for chronic medical conditions, and inability to live a healthy lifestyle. Too many citizens in my community are working multiple jobs in an effort to make ends meet but falling short.
This trend is supported by several studies showing Americans are spending less on health care and often choosing to push off treatment. Those who have insurance are paying more for it, and the insurance is less comprehensive than it used to be.
Does this trend sound familiar? Have you chosen to delay or forgo medical care because of finances? How have your health care decisions changed during the recession? If you’re a physician, do you see these choices being made by your patients?