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Who Do You Trust? Americans' Perspectives on Health Care, 1997-2001

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Publication Date: August 2002

Publisher(s): Center for Studying Health System Change

Author(s): Marie C. Reed; Sally Trude

Series: Tracking Report No. 3

Topic: Health (Quality of health care)

Type: Report


A turbulent backlash against managed care in the mid-1990s pitted consumers and health care providers against health plans in a struggle for control over medical decision making. New findings from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) Community Tracking Study Household Survey indicate consumer confidence in the system and trust in physicians increased slightly between 1997 and 2001, perhaps as a result of changes in laws and loosening of health plan restrictions. Nevertheless, there is strong evidence of continued public concern about the influence of health plans on medical decision making. For example, the level of trust in their physicians among people in fair or poor health has not increased, and more than 40 percent of privately insured Americans continue to believe their doctor is strongly influenced by health plan rules when deciding about their care.