How many patients are looking for new doctors?

A third of survey respondents say they would change doctors if they could save money under an insurance plan with a different physician network.

In a survey of 713 consumers by HealthPocket, if they would be willing to change physicians if it meant saving money on insurance premiums, 34% thought that keeping out-of-pocket insurance costs down was more important than retaining their doctors. In fact more than half of those willing to make a switch would do so even for minimal savings. About four in 10 respondents said they would not change their physicians, bust most people are surprisingly open to moving around based on cost. About 30 million additional people are expected to gain insurance through the coverage expansions, which include new state insurance exchanges or marketplaces where people can shop for plans based in part on price.

Although a certain amount of loyalty toward physicians may exist patients are willing to make trade offs. Because doctors generally rank high on public opinion polls, patients assume that they could get good care from other doctors, even if they’re fond of the ones they have, he said.

Who are th patients most likely to be looking of a new doctor? A young patient who hardly ever sees his doctor. On the other hand an elderly patient who visits his or her physician once a week is going to develop a greater bond with the caregiver than someone who sees a doctor once or twice a year, he said.

The foundation’s own research determined that nearly 80% of patients said they were satisfied with the care they received from their primary care doctors.

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