Consumers may be regaining the capability to pay for their healthcare, according to a new Thomson Reuters survey.
The Thomson Reuters Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index rose from 95 points in July to 99 in August, an increase the organization called "statistically significant." It's the highest score for the index since the end of 2009, when it was at 100. That's the baseline score for the survey, but it can exceed 100 points.
According to the survey of 3,000 households, fewer participants reported postponement, delay, or cancellation of healthcare treatment and failure to fill prescriptions, despite the fact that more reported losing their healthcare insurance.
"This notable increase in confidence may signal growing optimism heading into the final quarter of the year," said Gary Pickens, chief research officer at the Thomson Reuters Center for Healthcare Analytics. "Sentiment increased significantly when people were asked what they had experienced in the past--and it increased even faster when they were asked about their expectations for the future," he said.
Yet, Pickens cautioned that the uptick would have to be sustained for several months in order to conclude the rise in consumer confidence was part of a meaningful trend.