Millennials are notorious for always doing things their own way. That goes for healthcare as well. Millennials’ healthcare needs are different, and since they are expected to become the largest generation in 2019, healthcare organizations and providers need to understand why millennials want change.
Let’s look at why their needs are different and what this means to you as you sell and market to the healthcare industry.
They Know the Healthcare System is Broken
Unlike older generations, who are largely satisfied with their healthcare, millennials are much more likely to see it as flawed and bloated. Why is this? Well, you could argue that older Americans are just used to the inefficiencies. Millennials, however, are digital natives who expect immediate responses.
For example, millennials want access to their medical information digitally and have the ability to communicate with clinicians via email. Yet, being able to interact with healthcare organizations online is still not widely available. A Nielsen survey found that only 21% can schedule appointments online while only 15% can correspond about their health via email.
Healthcare needs to catch up to the expectations of millennials regarding communication. They seek convenience and ease in dealing with businesses (which is exactly how they see their physicians).
Further evidence that millennials are fed up with the system is that most believe that this country should provide Medicare for all. According to a Morning Consult/Politico tracking poll, 69% of millennials support government-funded healthcare. This group is highly skeptical of the U.S’ current healthcare model, which they see as focused on profits and pill pushing.
They Don’t Have Family Doctors
Millennials’ healthcare needs are much different than their older counterparts, in that they typically don’t have established primary care providers. In fact, a survey found that nearlyhalf of millennials do not have a primary care provider.
While typically younger adults have fewer health problems or chronic diseases, it should be a huge red flag to traditional providers. Instead of developing a relationship with a physician, they seek the expediency of urgent care clinics. In a PNC Healthcare study, millennials were found to be twice as likely to prefer retail clinics than baby boomers.
If providers don’t wake up to the shift that millennials are causing in how care is sought, they will soon have no patients. They need to learn how to connect with millennials and attract them just as any other brand does. That means they need to work on their messaging and marketing.
Millennials probably aren’t alone in the desire to have a simpler process for healthcare. They want to understand better why their premiums are going up, why their insurance denied a prescription, and to be able to look at the system with transparency.
Healthcare certainly isn’t known for being transparent. Information is also not readily available. Most can access information about their EOBs online, but as noted earlier, they have few options with communicating digitally. They see the entire infrastructure as a dying dinosaur.
What would they prefer? A paperless system (because they care about the environment, too) with affordable costs and clarity around what care is right for their condition.
High Interest in Telemedicine
If they don’t have to go to the doctor’s office, then why should they? Millennials and their adoption of technology mean they are embracing telemedicine. A study indicated that 60% of millennials are interested in telemedicine.
They already use video chat regularly in their daily lives—why not for healthcare? This desire to meet with clinicians online isn’t just a fad, it’s a real trend, and part of the reason telemedicine is exploding, and why it’s expected to reach $93.45 billion by 2026.
This means that healthcare has to begin to build platforms and apps to facilitate this with as little friction as possible. Millennials will expect an excellent user experience that’s reliable. They won’t accept a poorly designed and implemented solution.
Millennials’ Healthcare Needs Are Consumer Focused
All the needs and desires of millennials and healthcare come down to one big shift—healthcare must become consumer-oriented. That means that healthcare providers have to begin to realize that healthcare is a competitive market. They can’t just rely on referrals or expect to be found because they have a practice.
One thing that is driving this consumerism is reviews. Millennials love to do research, and they’ll perform the same due diligence on healthcare provides. Nearly 50% of millennials check online reviews before selecting a physician. Additionally, millennials listen to their peers and are comfortable talking about their health with them, something that would have been taboo decades before.
Providers must come around to this disruption in the way they have been seeking new patients. They need to beef up their online reputation. Because if a millennial can’t find that physician online, then they may as well not exist.
How Can You Respond to the Changes Millennials Are Driving?
Change is hard in any industry, but you can help providers welcome and get connected with what millennials want and expect. There are so many opportunities for you to inject how your product or solution can help them become relevant to this generation. From technology upgrades to facilitating the upheaval of their business model, change is coming, and you be a guide for them, so they better relate to millennials.
About the Author
Carevoyance contributor Beth Osborne is a professional writer and content marketer with multiple years of experience in healthcare IT marketing. Learn more about her by visiting her website.