Americans Use Fewer Health Care Services In 2010: What Will We Learn From This?

There were fewer visits to the doctor in 2010 compared to the year before. What does this mean? It depends on whose opinion one reads.

The facts: There were fewer doctor visits, lab-tests, hospital admissions, and lower overall utilization in first three quarters of 2010 than the year before (1). Visits were down 7% in the first half of 2010 compared to 2009. Despite predictions that utilization would rebound in the third quarter when deductibles were met, it did not(2), which has surprised many. Such a downward trend is a new phenomenon. Insurers have never seen this before, even during past recessions.

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