Government Should Help Us Stay Healthy, Says National Consumer Survey

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A recent national survey sponsored by ndp and Catalyst Healthcare Research surveyed more than 1,000 consumers. The results show that most Americans expect both federal and local government to take action to improve population health.

In spite of their political differences, the public obviously feels that these institutions have an obligation to provide the public with key resources to maintain or improve one’s health. --Susan Dubuque.

No matter what their political affiliation, most Americans expect both federal and local government to take action to improve population health, according to a recent national survey of more than 1,000 consumers.

The independent study was sponsored by the advertising agency ndp and Catalyst Healthcare Research, two firms that actively provide marketing services to the healthcare world.

Those who identified themselves as political conservatives were less likely than self-identified liberals to support the role of government to improve community health. However, even among conservatives, 74 percent believed the federal government should take action, and 77 percent said local governments have a role to play.

When indicating what that role should be, conservatives showed significantly less support for government funding of sidewalks and bike lanes, and for health-oriented tax policy like charges on tobacco and sugary drinks, but demonstrated support similar to that of independent and liberal respondents for public education initiatives like health education in schools.

Most respondents also felt hospitals and insurance companies should be involved in improving community health by providing free health screenings, helping patients coordinate care among providers, and offering free classes on health topics.

"In spite of their political differences, the public obviously feels that these institutions have an obligation to provide the public with key resources to maintain or improve one’s health," says ndp co-founder Susan Dubuque, whose book, “Gearing Up for Population Health” will be published next year by the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Marketing Development, adding that in layman’s terms ‘population health’ refers to what people and organizations do to maintain or improve the health of all citizens in a given community.

Personal responsibility is still paramount. Even with support from government, healthcare providers, and health plans, nearly all respondents (99%) felt that each individual has a role in maintaining or improving their own health.

“This study is important because today’s consumers—even those who could not define the concept of population health—feel that multiple parties, including themselves, are responsible for helping everyone in the community stay or become healthy,” said Dan Prince, president of Catalyst Healthcare Research.

Dubuque added that the topic of population health has become central to discussions in the healthcare industry as government and insurance companies are increasingly shifting to a value-based payment system in which health providers are paid to keep people healthy, as well as help them when they are not.

About ndp
Headquartered in Richmond, Va., the Emmy-winning advertising agency has offices in Roanoke, Virginia, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, with clients nationwide including Massachusetts General Hospital, University Health System in San Antonio, Texas, and Loma Linda University Health in Loma Linda, California. ndp founders Roger Neathawk and Susan Dubuque were named “Ad Persons of the Year” in 2016 by the Richmond Ad Club.

About Catalyst Healthcare Research
Nashville-based Catalyst Healthcare Research serves healthcare clients throughout the United States with both ongoing research programs and custom marketing research projects. The firm has conducted the three largest studies to date on what hospitals around the world are doing to improve the patient experience. Catalyst Healthcare Research also conducts reputation research for health providers and payer organizations, including the well-known ReviveHealth Trust IndexTM studies.

About this Study
This study was conducted using a combination of telephone and online surveying in order to reach as broad a spectrum of adults ages 18 and older as possible. Telephone surveying was handled by Wilkins Research of Chattanooga, TN, while sample for the online survey was provided by Dallas-based Research Now. The margin of error for the full sample is +/- 3%. For more information on the study, contact Tracy Tierney at ttierney(at)ndp(dot)agency.

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Tracy Tierney
ndp
+1 (804) 935-0052
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