Patients Are Losing Patience Over Time and Medical Bills

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

First published 6/14/11 on Health Populi

When we use the phrase, “patient-physician communication,” we usually think about what goes on in the inner sanctum of the doctor’s office: in the exam room at the point-of-diagnosis, -care and -prescribing. There’s another form of communication that’s frustrating to both sides of the doctor-patient dialogue: phone calls. Patients are hanging up after long hold times, frustratingly waiting for important information about clinical care, insurance questions, and appointment schedule, according to a survey from Intuit.

“Patients are losing patience,” Intuit found. Earlier this year, Intuit learned a lot about what U.S. patients are looking for from their doctors: more self-service options, more online access, and more self-health care tools in patient portals. Furthermore, many patients would consider leaving their current physician’s practice if online options aren’t offered by their doctors, which I wrote about in Health Populi on March 9, 2011.

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