checkMD, an online social network and healthcare information resource, today released the results of a new poll indicating the correlation between increasing healthcare costs and more infrequent doctor visits. More than half of the 247 respondents (54 percent) indicated they are going to the doctor less than they previously were due to rising healthcare costs. In an additional question of 274 participants, nearly 24 percent felt that their employer did not provide adequate healthcare coverage and a further 14 percent are getting no healthcare coverage from their employer at all.

The poll results correspond with recent studies showing that out-of-pocket spending on healthcare for insured consumers has more than doubled in the last five years. The sizable segment of uninsured Americans, recently estimated at 46 million, is contributing to escalating premiums to offset the cost of their care and crowded emergency rooms, as these uninsured consumers typically do not seek the preventive and primary care to treat their conditions prior to them requiring urgent attention.

These numbers, while shocking, underscore the complexities of today™s healthcare landscape and the challenges that the next administration will face, said Jon Black, CEO of checkMD. With climbing healthcare costs and challenging economic times, Americans are under more pressure to carefully evaluate providers to make informed choices. The extent of available information on checkMD, including the comprehensive listings of doctors, hospitals, and disciplinary actions, can help assist in that selection.

The visitor poll is one of several new interactive and social media components that have been added to the checkMD site. In addition to the polls, the website now prominently features discussion forums, blogs and video. Registering and creating a free profile with checkMD allows people, doctors and hospitals to find and connect directly with others.

When someone is ill or going through tough emotional times, the power of support that can be found from others that are or have been in similar circumstances is immense. checkMD allows the afflicted to connect with others and develop friendships to find support, encouragement, and understanding, added Black.

In addition, patients can go to the site to recommend doctors and hospitals and provide ratings based on their friendliness, timeliness, the office staff, overall competence, and how informative they were. Doctors and hospitals are encouraged to upload video, podcasts, and whitepapers and participate in discussions to strengthen their relationships with their patients through open dialogue.

Additional Resources:

Videos: checkMD Featured Videos

Forums: Recent Discussions

Blogs: Executive Blogs, Share Your Healthcare Story

Research: Physicians, Hospitals, Pharmacies

About checkMD

checkMD.com is an online social community and medical resource that unites and promotes interaction between consumers, physicians, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies and the afflicted. Featuring free, quality information aggregated from hundreds of national databases, people can research doctors, hospitals, and disciplinarian actions to make more informed healthcare choices. With fully interactive forums and features like videos, podcasts, live chat and blogs that allow site visitors to share experiences, make recommendations, research providers and connect directly with others, checkMD empowers people to take personal responsibility in healing the healthcare community.

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