The report found that the decline in doctor visits was seen in among those in excellent, good and poor health, with a third of Americans reported being in excellent health.
“The decline in the use of medical services was widespread, taking place regardless of health status,” said Brett O’Hara, chief of the Census Bureau’s Health and Disability Statistics Branch, in a news release.
On average, working-age adults had 3.9 visits to doctors, nurses and other medical providers in 2010, down from 4.8 visits in 2001, according to the report’s findings, which are taken from data in Survey of Income and Program Participation.
Among those who said they were in either fair or poor health, the average number of annual visits dropped from 12.9 to 11.6 over the same period. For those claiming to be in excellent or very good health the decline was from 3.2 visits to 2.5 visits.
Additionally, spending the night in a hospital was rare for most of the population, with 92.4 percent saying they never spent a night in the hospital during the past year.
Among the survey’s other findings:
- Women are more likely to stay in the hospital, visit a doctor, and go to the dentist, than men.
- Men were more likely to report never taking prescription medication and report were less likely to report regular usage of prescription drugs.
- 78 percent of women and 67 percent of men visited a medical provider during the year.
- Only 1 percent of survey respondents spent eight or more nights in the hospital
- Adults reporting excellent health were more likely to visit the dentist than those in poor health.
What’s your experience? Have you cut back on visits to the doctor?