Amid ongoing national debate about health care costs, new research from Siemens Healthcare, Malvern, Pa, shows that the vast majority of Americans (92%) agree that “the value of knowing exactly what is wrong with their health is as important as having access to a doctor in the first place” and nearly four in five Americans (78%) would want to have a test done to diagnose a disease, even if there is no treatment or cure available.

SiemensThe ‘Value of Knowing’ survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive, a top market reserach firm, on behalf of Siemens Healthcare from April 9 to 11, among 2,222 US adults ages 18 and older.

“There is simply a rational, financial, and emotional value to knowing if you are sick,” says Gregory Sorensen, MD, CEO, Siemens Healthcare, who is also a board-certified neuroradiologist. “The survey findings show clearly that Americans want to know exactly where they stand when it comes to their health.”

Medical testing, imaging, and clinical diagnostics to help diagnose cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, coronary disease and other serious illnesses, have come under increased scrutiny as the nation examines health care expenditures. However, the survey results show that–despite the belt-tightening times for many American families–the majority of US adults see real value in such tests:

  • Roughly two-thirds (66%) of Americans would even be willing to pay out of their own pocket for tests to diagnose serious illness if there were such a test but it was not covered by their insurance.
  • Almost nine in 10 Americans (87%) agree that ruling out a diagnosis can save money in costly treatments that may not have been needed.
  • Eight in 10 Americans (83%) agree that even if medical technologies and tests are expensive, they save money in the long run by helping physicians to get to the right diagnosis more quickly.

Other key survey findings include:

  • Women over age 45 are more likely than men of the same age to agree that the value of knowing exactly what is wrong is as important as having access to a physician in the first place.” (99% of women age 45 to 54; 97% age 55-plus, compared to 92% and 91% of men, respectively).
  • Eight in 10 Americans (80%) are concerned that the government is making decisions about their medical care purely on the basis of cost; nearly nine in 10 (89%) feel that way about insurance companies.

[Source: Siemens Healthcare]