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March 20, 2019

The New Healthcare Consumer

Accenture just released a survey taken from more than 2,000 U.S. consumers, and the findings are clear: Millennials and Generation Z consumers are demanding a different kind of healthcare. With Millennials projected to be the largest generation in 2019, hospitals and healthcare providers need to be ready for their demands.

Younger Generations are Bringing New Demands to Healthcare

According to the Accenture survey, more than half of patients surveyed expect digital capabilities. These expectations will more and more influence whom patients choose in a provider. In 2019, 70% will be more likely to choose a provider that offers reminders for follow-up care via email or text, compared to 57% in 2016 and about 53% in 2019 will look for a provider offering remote or telemonitoring devices, versus 39% in 2016.

Younger consumers, more than any other generation, will choose medical providers who offer digital capabilities, such as easy access to test results via mobile or online and requesting prescription refills electronically.

In a recent survey done by Jefferson Health, patients under 40 have specific expectations when it comes to technology:

  • 92% expect to have full two-way electronic communication with their providers
  • 83% expect to be able to access all their patient information online, as they do their bank accounts
  • 78% expect to have total access to family members’ inpatient charts and be able to participate in rounds virtually
  • 71% expect providers to have online scheduling and offer them the ability to compare rates
  • 65% expect to discuss health-related topics and compare providers via social media

Technology like patient portals and telehealth services will be the status quo for the new healthcare consumer.

Is Your Hospital Ready for the New Healthcare Consumer?

Not only are younger generations looking for care through digital services, they expect to see value-based care and transparency in both pricing and procedures. Do not waste the new healthcare consumer’s time or money. Millennials and Generation Z are busy with work and school and are less likely to visit a doctor’s office due to lack of time and financial concerns.

Younger generations are more inclined to take an active approach to preventative healthcare and health monitoring. 51% of Accenture respondents said they use a wearable or mobile app to manage their lifestyle and healthcare conditions and 53% use virtual nurses to monitor health conditions, medications, and vital signs. They are also more inclined to participate in preventative and alternative healthcare like yoga and acupuncture.

Patients across generations showed satisfaction with “new care models”: walk-in or retail clinics, outpatient surgery hospitals, virtual health, on-demand service, and digital therapeutics.

Finally, to be fully prepared for the new healthcare consumer, do not ignore Generation X (the parents of Generation Z and children of the Baby Boomers); currently, they “are most often the chief health decision-makers in their families” Amy Lynch (a generations researcher) told Digital Journal. “Want to improve and grow your practice? These are the people to ask for advice.”

“As more patients take control of their own healthcare, provider organizations must offer meaningful choices that fulfill the needs of all generational groups,” said Kaveh Safavi, M.D., J.D., head of Accenture’s global Health practice. “Providers and payers who stay one step ahead of the shifts and deliver what patients are looking for will be the ones to earn loyalty, navigate disruption and be strongly positioned as the future unfolds.”

About MedCom Solutions

MedCom Solutions creates patented technology and state-of-the-art software to help medical service providers meet rapidly escalating and changing medical billing demands. Our Chargemaster, pricing and compliance solutions have yielded hundreds of millions in net revenue for healthcare providers across the country. Learn more about our CDM software solutions, visit our homepage, or contact us today!

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