The Spectrum Health Value Study: Insured vs. Uninsured

In May, we wrote about the Spectrum Health Value Study, an ongoing national online survey where Americans are asked what they value when it comes to healthcare products and services. The survey evaluates 27 programs, products and services categories used by the U.S. government for measuring economic activity in various sectors of the economy. Every three months, Spectrum, a public relations and public affairs firm based in Washington DC, interviews 1,000 people and asks them to identify from the 27 healthcare products, programs and services those ever used and how satisfied they were with each. The ongoing study can be used to identify the relative value Americans place in healthcare programs, products and services, and how the value changes over time.


Insured and uninsured

The most recent Spectrum Health Value Study data was used to compare answers from insured and uninsured respondents. As Congress recesses for the month of August to talk with their constituents about the current healthcare legislation under consideration in the U.S. House and Senate, these data offer a glimpse into what insured and uninsured Americans value in healthcare.

The Spectrum Health Value Study

According to a new survey called the Spectrum Health Value Study, when Americans were asked to value their most important health product and/or service as they consider spending their own money, they chose access to care over everything else [1]. Respondents indicated that access to physician services, medical services at a hospital and emergency care services are their most essential and highest valued health priorities.


The Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Evidence-Based Medicine brings together leaders from key healthcare sectors to accelerate the collaborative work necessary to drive improvements in the effectiveness and efficiency of medical care. According to a Roundtable issue brief published earlier this year [2]:

While the U.S. has the highest per capita spending on health care of any industrialized nation, health outcomes lag those achieved elsewhere. The increasing costs of care are reducing access to care and constitute an ever heavier burden on employers and consumers. To address both the costs and the performance of the health care system, greater consensus will be required on what constitutes value in health care, and how to measure and increase that value.

Indeed, value is a relative term — what’s valuable to me may not be valuable to you. With policymakers looking to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system, one way to quantify and compare the value of health programs, products and services is to ask consumers and taxpayers.