RedBox Rx: New Research Shows Patient Proximity to Primary Care and Pharmacies Linked to Mental and Overall Health Satisfaction
DES MOINES, Iowa (May 13, 2022) – Americans who live farther from a primary care provider or pharmacy are more likely to be dissatisfied with their mental and overall health, according to new research conducted by Morning Consult for RedBox Rx, a telehealth provider and of online pharmacy.
The study of 2,209 adults nationwide found that 38% of Americans who live more than 20 miles from their primary care provider are dissatisfied with their overall health, compared to 28% who live less than 20 miles. The figures are similar for mental health: 40% dissatisfaction for those who live more than 20 miles away compared to 29% for those who are closer.
“Distance may not be the only cause, but there certainly seems to be a connection that underscores the importance of a patient’s proximity to healthcare,” said Marshall Sanders, president of RedBox Rx. and licensed pharmacist.
The study also showed a link between distance to a pharmacy and dissatisfaction with mental health. In fact, 48% of adults who live more than 20 miles from a pharmacy say they are dissatisfied with their mental health, compared to 30% dissatisfaction among those within 20 miles.
“At RedBox Rx, we’re trying to make health care more accessible and affordable for physical and mental health,” Sanders said. “This national survey shows how important it is.”
Three in ten Americans (30%) say they have struggled more in the past year with their mental health. This is in addition to 34% who say their mental health issues were about the same. Yet about one in five of those struggling (21%) say the cost keeps them from seeking professional care, and 22% are uncomfortable discussing anxiety and depression with a doctor or nurse in person.
“The current health care system is not meeting the mental health needs of a lot of people,” Sanders said. “It’s essential that we create ways to make people more comfortable having the conversation. For some, an online consultation is helpful. We also need to address price transparency so people know in advance what treatments for mental health and other conditions will cost.
The Morning Consult study showed that three in five Americans (60%) are concerned about the costs associated with a doctor’s appointment to obtain a prescription. The same number – 60% – are interested in dispensing prescriptions, with millennials (66%) and high-income Americans (66%) showing the most interest.
The study also revealed concerns about discussing additional medical conditions in person with a doctor or nurse. For example, 29% of Americans are uncomfortable discussing sexual health in person and 15% are uncomfortable discussing hair loss – figures about four times and twice as high, respectively. than the discomfort associated with discussing general health issues (7%).