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Posted on 05.14.2015

Millennials Stimulate Changes in Healthcare

Millennials are a primary influence in today’s society. They are now the largest generation in the U.S. and represent one-third of the total USA population (in 2013). They’re reaching the age where they are making their own major purchasing decisions, therefore dictating how some companies, including those in the healthcare industry, are marketing their products and services. 

Millennials and Healthcare Communication

Millennials were influenced by the growth of the internet and technology. Whether or not it’s a fact, millennials like me believe we can get answers to just about anything at the click of a button. We live and thrive in a fast-paced, instant response environment, and the healthcare industry needs to adapt to keep up.

PNC Healthcare recently completed a consumer survey exploring the impact millennials have on healthcare technology trends. The survey included more than 5,000 consumers that span four generations: millennia

ls (21-32), Generation X (33-49), baby boomers (50-71), and seniors (72+). The findings revealed some interesting statistics and trends that demonstrate how millennials are driving change in healthcare.

  • There is a significant decrease in the use of primary care physicians. Only 61 percent of millennials visited their primary care physicians whereas 85 percent of seniors and 80 percent of baby boomers visited their doctor. Millennials prefer to use retail and acute care clinics or are satisfied seeing a nurse practitioner or mid-level provider.
  • Younger generations prefer shopping online for health information. More than half of millennials and generation Xers used an online review service like Yelp or Healthgrades to find information about insurance plan options before selecting a health care provider, compared to less than 40 percent for baby boomers and less than 28 percent for seniors.
  • Millennials demand to know health care costs up front. We want to know what something is going to cost us before we undergo treatment. As out-of-pocket costs increase, 41 percent of millennials are likely to request cost estimates, whereas only 18 percent of seniors and 21 percent of baby boomers conveyed they wanted to know costs up front. 
  • Costs are too high. All age groups can agree healthcare costs are high and unpredictable, but more than 50 percent of millennials and generation Xers agreed that they would avoid or delay treatment due to costs, but only 18 percent of seniors and 37 percent of baby boomers would do the same.

Overall, it appears that millennials are not as accepting of status quo healthcare delivery. The growth in technology allows people to be more knowledgeable and up-to-date and gives consumers the ability to shop around; that promotes competition. What changes in healthcare delivery or access do you wish the “old guard” would pursue?

 

Katelyn Fish is an Account Executive at Lovell Communications. You can view more of Katelyn’s blogs here. Connect with Katelyn at Katelyn@lovell.com, or @katelynfish.

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