- Younger consumers are opting for nontraditional ways of engaging with healthcare and applying their shopping behaviors to the decisionmaking process, a new EBRI Research survey finds.
- Millennials — those born between 1980 and 2000 — are also more than twice as likely as baby boomers to use a walk-in clinic (30% versus 14%) and more than twice as likely to consider telemedicine (40% versus 19%).
- They are also more likely to research their care options online. For example, 51% of millennials report checking a doctor’s or hospital’s rating and 28% use cost tracking, too. Those figures drop to 31% and 10% for baby boomers.
Millennials are also more comfortable with ease of choosing a health plan (56% vs. 43%), information comparing plan choices (56% vs. 46%), range of plans to choose from (47% vs. 32%) and availability and affordability of plans (46% vs. 29%), according to the survey, which was released Thursday.
“This perhaps reflects their comfort in researching consumer decisions online, and applying the same consumer habits they use on Amazon or other retail [websites] to the health care arena,” Paul Fronstin, director of the health research and education program at EBRI, said in a statement.
Generation X-ers, those born between boomers and millennials, are the least happy with their health plan, with less than half (47%) saying they are “extremely” or “very” satisfied. They are also least likely to adopt a healthier lifestyle after seeing their doctor.
The findings mirror earlier surveys and speak to the need for providers to reach out and engage millennials. This demographic is typically interested in three things: experience, convenience and cost savings.
In a 2016 Accenture survey, 22% of millennials said the healthcare system is inconvenient, and 29% said they didn't have a primary care or trusted physician that they see. They were also more likely to shop for a physician and to switch if they were not satisfied.
Yet despite changing consumer expectations, few hospitals are meeting the demand. While nine in 10 organizations consider enhancing the consumer experience a high priority, just 30% have developed capabilities to progress that goal, according to a Kaufman Hall survey. Nearly six in 10 placed a high priority on digital tools to increase consumer engagement, but only 14% had those capabilities.