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To Your Health: Local Watch Report Shines a Spotlight on Health Care
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To Your Health: Local Watch Report Shines a Spotlight on Health Care

Much like the products we buy or the devices we prefer watching content on, services, too, tend to vary according to where we live. According to Nielsen’s 2014 Local Watch Report, this regional consumption of services plays a critical role in the type of healthcare consumers are receiving. From signing up for coverage to purchasing medication, local factors influence consumer behavior and the report noted that the health care landscape is as varied as it is vast.

Nationally, more than 85 percent of consumers have health care coverage, but there are noticeable differences regarding the specific types of insurance they have. The report found that nearly 32 percent of those insured get coverage from a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), while 31.3 percent receive their health benefits from either Medicare or Medicaid.

The report also took a look at five designated market areas (DMAs)—Miami, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Milwaukee and Dallas—and found that, regionally, differences in the services and medication rendered exist. For instance, in Miami, where suntans and beach bods reign supreme, residents are 28 times more likely than the average American to use a dermatological health care specialist in the past 12 months. Conversely, in Dallas a resident is 23 times more likely than the average American to pay for a fee-paid weight loss program.

Different Markets Have Different Health Care Needs

   
Index to the U.S. Population
Category Specialist or Medication Miami Washington, D.C. San Diego Milwaukee Dallas
Medical services HHLD received in the past 3 years (HHLD) Pediatrics 118 129 122 104 129
Specialist used in the past 12 months Cardiologist 135 106 75 92 88
Specialist used in the past 12 months Dermatologist 128 126 93 88 86
Specialist used in the past 12 months OB/GYN 105 121 76 103 93
Specialist used in the past 12 months Any fee-paid weight loss program 109 115 119 81 123
Medications – Reason bought in the past 12 months Weight loss medication 121 74 117 45 101
Medications – Reason bought in the past 12 months Did not buy medications 103 85 156 103 103
Read as: Residents of Miami are 35 times more likely than the average American to have used a cardiologist in the past 12 months.
Source: Nielsen Scarborough.