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Majority of Americans concerned healthcare system is unprepared to care for aging population, new study finds

Understanding American attitudes about illness, death, and the healthcare system is critical to developing programs, policies, and services to support the country’s aging population. Today, the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI) released Views and Experiences of Aging & End-of-Life Care in the US. The report contains the initial research findings from a nationally representative survey exploring how Americans feel about these topics.

In 2017, the Kaiser Family Foundation and The Economist conducted a large-scale, international survey to explore the different facets of how individuals view and experience healthcare in the context of serious illness and the end of life.

This September, NPHI launched a national survey building on this study to obtain updated insights post-COVID. The initial results show the emergence of three key themes: uncertainty, openness, and trust.

Across demographic groups, the data indicated a general lack of clarity around personal plans, care options, and the system’s ability to provide care to the aging population. In addition, most Americans avoid planning, discussing, and even thinking about their personal wishes related to healthcare later in life, yet they agree that such conversations are important.

A key factor inhibiting more proactive discussions is lack of trust—the study found that, overall, Americans have little trust in the US healthcare system to provide quality, respectful care at both the individual and systemic level. This report is the first phase of a more robust publication scheduled to launch in the Spring of 2023. Please visit the NPHI website [LINK] to read the report.

This work was a collaborative effort by NPHI, SIR, and Emergence Creative, with generous funding from StateServ, an NPHI-preferred vendor.

The National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI) 
NPHI is a collaborative of almost 100 not-for-profit, community-integrated hospice and palliative care providers dedicated to ensuring patients and their families have access to care that reflects their individual goals, values, and preferences. Representing providers from 35 states and the District of Columbia, NPHI and its members help design more innovative and effective models of care, advocate for comprehensive and community-integrated care customized to meet each person’s unique needs, and build collaboration between national thought leaders, decision-makers, and other healthcare stakeholders to improve hospice care.