Empowering the Modern Healthcare Consumer
Published on July 22nd, 2016
Long gone are the days of simply picking a benefit-rich health plan during open enrollment – essentially setting and forgetting healthcare management until the following year. With an era of consumer-driven healthcare upon us, this paradigm shift requires the modern healthcare consumer to be engaged and empowered to make the best decisions for their families and their finances.
The Alegeus Healthcare Consumerism Index, the industry standard for measuring consumerism in healthcare, benchmarks year-over-year healthcare engagement and shows that while growth is slow (up 14% since 2014), engagement levels are rising. Previous research found consumers resistant to engage and become accountable for their healthcare; but, the reality is, as consumers become increasingly responsible for the cost of healthcare they do engage out of the primitive desire to deliver the best outcome for their family.
More than 75% of consumers say they are very focused on getting the best value for their healthcare dollars, but they are stressed, overwhelmed and riddled with doubt due to their lack of fluency and access to information required to make informed decisions. Like most purchases today, consumers expect to have ratings, referrals, and reviews to make informed decisions. But, more than half of consumers still don’t even understand their cost responsibility for a healthcare service until they receive the bill, after the fact. When it comes to their healthcare, consumers are truly flying blind.
So, where do we start?
The bottom line is that it is up to us, as industry leaders, to support consumers in a significant way throughout this new healthcare journey. We must begin to close the information and support gap between what consumers need and what is accessible to them.
To move healthcare consumerism forward in a positive and productive way, we must ask:
- How far are we from the engaged, economically aware & demanding consumers of tomorrow?
- What are the specific challenges and opportunities for engaging and empowering consumers?
- What is really needed to help consumers navigate in this new era of consumerism?
And, how will we get there?
In the age of consumerism in healthcare, we must support and engage consumers in a way that actually influences long-term behavioral changes and reduces their overall healthcare consumption – ultimately driving down overall healthcare costs. With that vision as our guide, let’s help carve a path for today’s modern healthcare consumers as they assume an increasingly active and informed role in their financial vitality, health, and wellness.
Alegeus has launched a webinar and three-part podcast series, Empowering the Modern Healthcare Consumer,” to reveal how consumers feel about this paradigm shift, identify ways to better engage them, and explore all available resources to help them navigate their new journey. Visit www.alegeus.com/consumerism to join us for an informed, inspiring dialogue on this important topic that impacts us all.