Nearly half of Clevelanders may not seek health care treatments because of costs

St. Vincent's emergency room
St. Vincent's emergency room(wbrc)
Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 11:42 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A trip to the emergency room is probably the last thing you want if you can avoid it.

Dell Young said she is concerned about the cost.

“People don’t have that option because it’s so expensive,” she said.

The 2020 path to better health study revealed some staggering numbers.

Nearly one out of two Clevelanders decided not to seek treatment because of cost being the barrier.

And roughly three out of four say they’re greatly concerned about costs of care.

That’s compared to more than 90% nationally.

Bill Cuffari from CVS health said the dollars and cents of health care are driving consumer behavior but very much in the wrong direction.

“Because they are educated and they have choices and the No. 1 thing they are wanting out of their healthcare right now is that they are wanting cost efficiency,” he said.

CVS says it’s trying to step in and fill the health care void by building so-called health hubs across Cleveland.

The goal: cost conscious alternatives to ER visits or trips to a doctor’s office.

“Any pharmacy that we have in the entire city of Cleveland or the entire U.S can provide vaccinations at every level,” Cuffari added.

Cuffari reminds us that flu shots and Covid testing can be done at some CVS locations too.

“There are things that can be treated over the counter there are things that our minute clinics can treat that really drive down the overall net cost of healthcare when you look at it in the grand scheme of things,” he said.

The survey also shows people are still struggling with mental health now more than ever because of the new normal.

An even better reason to learn about telehealth and make yourself a priority.

In Cleveland 37% of people said they would be open to receiving care for mental and behavioral health virtually.

“Taking anything that they are dealing with from a mental health stand point which is hard enough because of just the nature of being treated for mental health and the fact that it can be stigmatized and to provide people options to still seek help,” Cuffari said.

“A lot of people who really don’t have lets say a pillow for their finances it’s really going to tear their lives upside down,” Young said.

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