Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Health, Science & Tech
Health--it's what we all have in common: whether we're trying to maintain our health through good habits or improve our failing health. "Bridges to Health" is 90.5 WESA's health care reporting initiative examining everything from unintended consequences of the Affordable Care Act to transparency in health care costs; from a lack of access to quality care for minority members of our society to confronting the opioid crisis in our region. It's about our individual health and the well-being of our community.Health care coverage on 90.5 WESA is made possible in part by a grant from the Jewish Healthcare Foundation.

Poll: Pennsylvanians Have Better Access To Health Care, But They Pay More

According to a recent poll conducted the Pennsylvania Medical Society, there have been changes in the experiences people have had accessing health care.

“It seems that most patients are able to access health care within a reasonable period of time,” said Karen Rizzo, a practicing physician and President of the Pennsylvania Medical Society.  “It seems that their out-of-pocket expense is increasing for about 37 percent of the patients surveyed.”

Of the 700 people polled, 53 percent said their out of pocket expenses were about the same, and 8 percent saw a reduction in cost.

Rizzo thinks this increase has to do with new insurance options available to people.

“Some of it can be due to the kinds of plans that they are purchasing through the Affordable Care Act, for some of them there are higher out of pocket expenses,” she said.

Collecting these out-of-pocket expenses also increases physician administrative costs.

“It takes much more manpower to figure out what the cost is," Rizzo said. "The process we have to go through to get the reimbursement from the third-party payer. It's just becoming a much more complicated scenario.”