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Less Than Half of Americans Are Fully Satisfied With Their Medical Care

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release date: August 1, 2007

Only 48 percent of Americans age 18 and over who had gone to a doctor or medical clinic within a year of being surveyed rated their health care 9 or 10 on a scale in which 0 was the worst possible care and 10 was the best, according to the latest News and Numbers summary from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Patients' perceptions of quality varied by race, ethnicity, and type of insurance.

  • Only about one third of Asians (31 percent), and American Indians and Alaska Natives (37 percent) rated their care a 9 or 10, compared with less than half of whites (49 percent) and blacks (46 percent). Just 43 percent of Hispanics reported receiving high quality health care.
  • Slightly fewer than 60 percent of people ages 65 years and older who have Medicare, with or without additional private or public health insurance, rated their care to be the of the highest quality. This is compared with 46 percent of privately insured patients and 39 percent of uninsured Americans.
  • The men and women surveyed were nearly equal in their opinions of the care quality they receive—46 percent and 49 percent, respectively, saw their care as excellent.

This AHRQ News and Numbers summary is based on data from the 2006 National Healthcare Quality Report, which examines the quality of health care across America in four key areas—effectiveness of health care, patient safety, timeliness of care, and patient centeredness.

For additional information on this AHRQ News and Numbers topic, or to speak with an expert, contact Bob Isquith at or call (301) 427-1539.

Current as of August 2007


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