Local health networks best serve the needs of today’s healthcare consumer, according to a new survey.
This survey, from Create, a new marketplace of health systems designed by Brighton Health Plan Solutions, took a detailed look at the preferences of individuals when selecting and receiving healthcare.
“Despite having access to national networks of medical providers, most people have not used a doctor in another state in the past year and are willing to travel only 30 minutes or less to visit their doctor,” says Simeon Schindelman, CEO of Brighton Health Plan Solutions.
Additionally, only one-third have received care from more than one health system, or network of affiliated providers. “This data uncovers that individuals are already taking their own steps to make their care more localized and personalized, but they aren’t reaping the cost and quality benefits of such a network model,” Schindelman says.
Other key findings include a strong discrepancy between how loyal healthcare consumers feel they are to their primary care doctors, and how loyal they actually are.
“Although most people claim to be loyal to their doctors, a substantial number have switched their primary doctor in the past five years,” Schindelman says. “Additionally, healthcare consumers don’t want to choose between quality of care and affordability when selecting their healthcare providers. People strongly value quality of services, health plan coverage, and cost of services when first choosing a doctor.”
Through independent research and industry analysis, Schindelman and his team observed that “our current healthcare system simply does not meet the needs and expectations of today’s consumer. Our healthcare industry has remained static for decades. To enhance healthcare for everyone, we must move away from the current one-size-fits-all health plan, and instead listen to the needs of individuals across the country. This survey allowed us to uncover key areas we need to focus on.”
“Managed care executives are responsible for managing cost, utilization and quality of care provided, while pursuing strategies for value-driven solutions,” he says. “As such, hearing the preferences and expectations of today’s healthcare consumer is at the center of performing those duties. In addition to providing a useful resource that outlines the healthcare needs of individuals today, this survey also uncovers a value-driven solution that has not been explored in the industry: plans that prioritize local, integrated healthcare systems.”
Based on the survey, Schindelman offers healthcare executives three pieces of advice:
1. Offer personalized plans. “Move away from the status quo one-size-fits-all health plan—individuals’ needs are different and they change over time,” he says.
2. Stop giving people benefits they don’t need or use. Offer plans that feature more localized and personalized healthcare networks—a cost savings for both plan sponsors and members, according to Schindelman.
3. Explore new ways of lowering costs that don’t compromise quality. “Local, integrated healthcare systems present a viable value-driven solution—making both CFOs and CMOs happy,” he says.