Survey shows satisfaction with clinics is still high
ROCHESTER, N.Y. Patient satisfaction with retail-based health clinics remains high, according to the results of a new WSJ.com/Harris Interactive health care study.
As indicated in prior surveys on this topic, those U.S. adults who have used one of the 900-plus retail clinics sprinkled throughout the United States remain pleased with the quality of care (90 percent), cost (86 percent) and staff qualifications (88 percent).
The biggest driver of satisfaction, according to the survey, seems to be convenience, with 73 percent being very satisfied and another 20 percent being somewhat satisfied with the convenience of these clinics.
The results are based on an online survey of 4,937 U.S. adults conducted by Harris Interactive between May 2 and 6 for the Wall Street Journal Online’s Health Industry Edition.
The survey also found that the use of the clinics has remained consistent over the past few years, with 7 percent of U.S. households in 2005, 5 percent in 2007 and 7 percent in 2008 saying they have used a clinic.
Of those patients who use a retail-based clinic, 30 percent said they do not have a primary care provider, the survey found. Furthermore, respondents said they believe the clinics can provide low-cost basic services to people who cannot afford care (78 percent) and to anyone at times when doctors’ offices are closed (81 percent).
The most frequently used services: vaccinations (40 percent) and treatments for a common medical condition like an ear infection or cold (39 percent). Use for preventative screening tests and physical exams for sports and school increased slightly this year, the survey found.
Health insurance plans are increasingly covering the services of such clinics as evidenced by the survey results. The percent of adults whose health insurance covered some or all of the costs of at the clinic went from 42 percent in 2007 to 62 percent in 2008.
GSK survey finds asthma sufferers lax in controlling condition
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., and TORONTO According to a new survey conducted by GlaxoSmithKline, nearly half of adult Americans and more than a quarter of children with asthma do not have their disease well controlled.
The Asthma USA survey examined over 81,500 households by using the Asthma Control Test, which assessed asthma control using a questionnaire. Of the more than 10,000 adults that took the ACT, 41 percent had a score of 19 or less, which indicates asthma that is not well controlled.
Children were given the Childhood Asthma Control Test and the ACT to determine their level of asthma control. According to the findings, of the 3,000 children that responded, 31 percent of the children between the ages of 4 and 11 and 25 percent of those between 12 and 17 did not have well-controlled asthma.
The survey also found that asthma that wasn’t well controlled had significant medical consequences. Adults with uncontrolled asthma were more likely to require treatment with oral corticosteroids, visit the emergency department or be admitted to the hospital than those whose asthma was well controlled. Children with uncontrolled asthma were also more likely to require urgent medical care.
“We have made quantum leaps in asthma treatment in the last decade, but the Asthma USA results demonstrate that enormous numbers of patients are living with asthma that is still not well controlled, putting them at significant health risk,” said David Stempel, director of clinical medicine for GlaxoSmithKline. “These findings remind us that improvements in care have not been uniform and underscore the critical need to improve education for both patients and healthcare providers in the management of asthma.”
FDA warns against use of CellCept and Myfortic during pregnancy
WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration has again warned that Roche’s CellCept and Novartis’ Myfortic which are prescribed to organ transplant patients can cause miscarriages and birth defects when used by pregnant women, according to published reports. The drugs are used to suppress the body’s immune system to avoid organ rejection in transplant patients
Last October the agency said it had received reports of miscarriages and infants born with ear and mouth birth defects after their mothers took CellCept. At the time, FDA added a black-box warning to CellCept and Myfortic.
The FDA said most of the reported problems came from mothers who were taking CellCept before their pregnancies were detected. Some of the patients were taking the drug for conditions it was not approved to treat including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
A spokesman for Roche said it has not received any new reports of miscarriages or birth defects since updating the drug’s labeling. The company previously reported 25 miscarriages among 77 women exposed to the drug between 1995 and 2007.