The majority of patients need to check their budget before making a costly decision on health care, according to a recently released survey (login required) by the American Osteopathic Association. The Chicago-based organization surveyed 1,069 respondents online last month, and found that more than half of those polled considered their monthly income before making a decision on care. On top of that, about one-third said they have skipped or reduced visits to their primary care physician in order to save money, the AOA found.


Here are some other noteworthy findings from the association's survey, of which the results were released on April 18:

  • About 25 percent of respondents said they skipped or reduced visits to specialists that were suggested by their primary care physician or health care provider.
  • Some 20 percent of those polled said they were trying to reduce their spending on health care, and those affected by the economy were twice as likely to cut health care spending.
  • More than 25 percent said they're searching for alternate or free sources of care.
  • Women were more likely than men to skip or reduce imaging tests to save money.
  • People under the age of 60 were about twice as likely to scale back on health care costs as a way to save money.