Millennials, Gen Xers leading change in healthcare over seniors, boomers
Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Millennials and Gen Xers are a population segment harboring and bringing about advances in healthcare technology. They are also altering the delivery of healthcare and insurance, according to new research offered up by PNC Healthcare.
The organization spoke with more than 5,000 people in the United States about the impact of patient-centered care among various age groups, including those aged 21 through 32 (millennials), those ages 33 through 49 (Generation X or Gen Xers), those ages 50 through 71 (baby boomers) and those 72 and older (seniors).
The trends identified in the survey show that millennials, specifically, are impacting healthcare systems as we know them. They seek more speed and more knowledge before they buy, and they want to know the costs and other points.
In regard to speed, millennials prefer retail and acute care clinics at a rate double to that of baby boomers and seniors. However, in a trend that seems obvious, seniors and boomers visited primary care physicians significantly more than millennials at 61 percent. Part of this could be the simple fact that the older populations needed more care than the younger sect.
Secondly, Internet marketing plays a big role in deciding which caregivers are going to get consumers' money. Nearly 50 percent of millennials and Gen Xers use online reviews when shopping for a healthcare provider, compared to 40 percent of boomers and 28 percent for seniors.
Also, perhaps because they feel more comfortable searching healthcare information online, 50 percent of millennials and 52 percent of Gen Xers checked online information about their insurance options during their last enrollment period compared to 25 percent of seniors. Seniors prefer printed materials or a company representative before selecting their insurance plan.
In addition, 1 out of 5 people surveyed listed "unexpected/surprise bills" as the No. 1 billing-related issue. Millennials are more inclined to request and receive estimates before undergoing treatment, while only 18 percent of seniors and 21 percent of boomers reported asking for or receiving information on costs upfront.
All age groups agreed that medical care is too expensive and healthcare costs are unpredictable, but more than half of the millennials and Gen Xers said they delayed or avoided treatment because of costs. Seniors and boomers, not so much.
PNC conducted the survey online in January with a nationally representative sample of 5,092 American adults. The survey was supplemented with 300 telephone surveys. The first stage of the research, conducted in August 2014, involved in-depth telephone interviews with hospital executives around the country to identify trends, challenges and new innovations in patient-centered care.
The second stage of the research, conducted in October and November 2014, consisted of 12 exploratory focus groups with American adults in four U.S. markets and across six segments (uninsured, chronic conditions, millennials, Medicare, high income, and families with children). The findings from first two stages shaped the hypotheses and questions asked in the third, quantitative stage.
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