Healthcare will need to re-think its entire approach to winning the business of the millennial generation, according to a new survey and report.
According to a Kaufman Hall survey and report, millennials, at 78 million, recently surpassed baby boomers as the largest segment of the U.S. population and contribute about one-quarter of total healthcare spending. They desire improved healthcare access, value, and experience. Seventy-six percent of millennials trust Amazon, Apple, and Google to steer their healthcare journeys more than hospitals and health systems. They also trust these healthcare industry disruptors to develop the best online tools to help them find and select the right healthcare services (42% vs. just 20% of people aged 45 and older). Older adults are more inclined to trust their health insurance companies, or local hospital and health systems.
For the report, Kaufman Hall surveyed 5,900 consumers in 2019, including more than 2,100 millennials, with approximately 50% of the millennials being female.
What’s a key takeaway from the report? “Mostly, it’s that millennials tend to view the healthcare industry very differently and have different expectations for interacting with it than the generations that came before them,” says Paul Crnkovich, managing director in charge of Kaufman Hall’s consumer practice. “They aren’t intimidated by the physician/patient relationship and aren’t as willing to give control over their health—or anything related to it—to physicians or health plans the way past generations did. They see healthcare as much more transactional, something they should be able to order up on-demand just like everything else in their lives.
“They also have more trust in online companies such as Amazon, Apple and Google to develop the best online tools to help them find and select the right healthcare services than those 45 and older (42% versus 20%). Underscoring this online preference is the fact that 43% of millennials begin their healthcare journeys online, and half prefer to schedule their medical appointments online, versus 40% for the 45-to-64-year-old group and just 20% for those aged 65 and older,” Crnkovich says.
If healthcare wants to attract this massive younger generation and their children, healthcare organizations need to change—and change quickly, according to Crnkovich.
“There is so much opportunity here,” he says. “It’s important to understand this generation so healthcare organizations can take advantage. Healthcare providers must see their organizations, and the industry as a whole, through the eyes of these millennials and start adjusting their marketing, their operations, their customer experience and everything else about their businesses to meet the requirements of these demanding, discerning consumers.”
According to Crnkovich, there has been conversation over the years about the changes the tech-savvy, instant-messaging millennial generation would bring to healthcare, but it was really just speculation.
“Now that the oldest of that generation are in their 30s, it was time to discover just how drastic and pervasive the changes would need to be,” he says. “Especially since many will not only be making care decisions for themselves, but also for their young children and aging parents.”