I haven't looked at the PayDelay much, but my understanding was it was how long it took HHP to pay the vendor - not the member paying HHP. I was assuming this might have something to do with claims still being processed, delays in providers sending it in
- or whatnot. I could be wrong, but I don't think a paydelay indicates the member is poor in any way shape or form.
But to answer your questions from my viewpoint as a US citizen:
1) If you are poor - you probably don't have any health insurance - and wouldn't be able to pay anything near what would be needed for any type of care. You wouldn't be delayed paying - you wouldn't pay.
2) Yes - everything I have read suggests that you are more likely to be sick if you are poor.
3) Not necessarily IMHO - there would be cases of people having crappy health insurance being kicked out earlier, but this doesn't necessarily mean they would get fixed better. There are a lot of unnecessary hospital stays, surgeries, and whatnot - some
of which offer little if any benefit to the patient. There are a lot of confounding variables when trying to look at things this way.
4) Doctors don't usually get blamed by the media. There is a segment of the US (not me) that believe that doctors do everything possible to make/keep people sick. This is why you see ads like "Weight Loss Secrets Doctors Don't Want You to Know". By and
large though - most main stream media publications in the US portray doctors as being part of the solution - not the problem.
Vendors isn't really a term you hear much in the media. I think the blame falls into two/three camps:
republicans/conservatives are more likely to blame trial lawyers (ridiculous IMHO)
democrats/liberals are more likely to believe health insurance companies are to blame for being greedy and trying to cut corners
Keep in mind - I am not sure how popular the PCP(HMO) system is outside the US. You may want to read more about that - as that is probably what you are trying to get at (which is more likely to help you win this contest - info on vendors or PCP). Primary
Care Providers (Not everyone has these - some have PPOs - and I really don't know that much about other forms - or even thses forms) are sort of responsible for the care of a patient.
I belong to a PPO - and can see whoever I want - and the health insurer pays. If I had an HMO - I have to get a referral first. If I have a headache – I can go to a brain surgeon tomorrow and ask his opinion and the insurance will pay (probably – haven’t
tried this, but I think they would). If I had an HMO – this wouldn’t happen (unless the PCP thought I needed to see one). This leads to me to believe that a PCP might correlate better with outcome than specific vendors, but they probably will both be useful
for different reasons. Some of the stuff under vendors I would suspect don’t correlate very well. I doubt where you get your blood drawn/lab work done matters much (once everything else is taken into account).