Consumerism: Value Is the Driving Force In Patient Behavior
VALUE IS THE DRIVING FORCE IN PATIENT BEHAVIOR
Consumerism is no longer an “emerging trend” in healthcare but rather a driving force. Patient behavior ischanging significantly, and resulting in winners and losers among healthcare providers. HIDA’s most recentonline survey of 1,045 healthcare consumers found that they are paying close attention both to the price ofservices, and to quality. The findings show patients will schedule care, do research, and change providers ifnecessary to get the value they expect and minimize their out-of-pocket spend.
Quality Of Care Matters Most
Quality of care is still the most important factor to patients when selecting a provider. Consumers do notexpect to sacrifice quality in order to save on out-of-pocket expenses. In fact, many patients, especiallyMillennials and those with household incomes higher than $75,000 per year, are actually willing to paymore to go to a provider who offers new technology and products, faster diagnoses, and shorter wait times.
Controlling Out-of-Pocket Costs Is Also Important
Nearly three-quarters of patients say they always try to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. More than ever,patients research providers before seeking medical attention, ask for cost estimates, and consider costswhen choosing providers. High deductibles are motivating patients to make cost a factor when selectingor deciding to stay with a provider. These trends are most pronounced with Millennials.
Patients Increasingly Schedule Care To Reduce Expenses
Patients are controlling their out-of-pocket costs by scheduling healthcare in the first quarter to meetdeductibles early, or by seeking additional care in the fourth quarter after deductibles have been met.Almost 30% of patients with high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) will schedule care in Q1 compared to19% of other patients, and more than a quarter of patients scheduled care in Q4 compared to 14% ofpatients with other private insurance. These decisions are increasing the seasonality of demand forhealthcare services.
Patients are demanding value from healthcare, not just cost reductions. As healthcare continues to becomemore consumer-driven, providers who deliver value to patients will be the winners, as will the manufacturersand suppliers who assist with their success.
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