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The American Hospital Association (AHA), founded in 1898, is a not-for-profit association that advocates on behalf of its nearly 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, its clinician partners – including more than 270,000 affiliated physicians, 2 million nurses and other caregivers – and the 43,000 health care leaders who belong to its professional membership groups.

The AHA released findings of three new surveys conducted by Morning Consult that examined how some commercial insurer practices impact the patient and provider health care experience.

The surveys found that the vast majority of patients, nurses and physicians say insurer policies and practices are reducing access to medical care, driving up health care costs and increasing clinician burden and burnout.

The surveys found:

– – Most patients (62%) have had medical care delayed because of their insurance provider in the last two years. Nearly half of those patients (43%) say their health has gotten worse as a result.
– – Most patients (83%) want their health care provider to determine what care they receive, not their insurance company.
– – Over half of patients (54%) have difficulty affording insurance costs and premiums.
– – Nurses overwhelmingly believe (84%) insurance administrative policies delay patient care. About three in four nurses (74%) say it reduces the quality of care and 63% say it interferes with a patient being transferred to the right care setting.
– – Meanwhile, more than 80% of physicians said insurance practices and policies affect their ability to practice medicine.
– – The increase in insurance administrative requirements has taken a toll on clinicians with 56% of nurses saying their job satisfaction has decreased because of it and 84% of physicians said these policies make it difficult to operate a solo practice.

“These surveys bear out what we’ve heard for years – certain insurance companies’ policies and practices are reducing health care access and making it more difficult for our already overwhelmed clinicians to provide care,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “Health insurance should be a bridge to medical care, not a barrier to it for patients. If policymakers are serious about expanding access and addressing the health care workforce crisis, then we must hold insurance companies accountable for these harmful practices.”

The surveys were conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the AHA. The surveys included nationally representative samples of patients (1,502 adults), nurses (500 nurses) and physicians (500 physicians). Interviews were conducted online between December 2022 and April 2023. Results have a margin of error plus or minus three or four percentage points. See the new survey findings.