Consumers' Expectations Regarding Healthcare Experience

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01
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Part
01

Consumers' Expectations Regarding Healthcare Experience

Four additional most desired elements/expectations of US consumers regarding their healthcare experience with providers and/or insurers are quality of customer service, price transparency, availability of non-traditional services, and improve patient education.

QUALITY CUSTOMER SERVICE

PRICE TRANSPARENCY

  • According to McKinsey's Consumer Health Insights study, affordability is one of the most pressing concerns by US consumers when it comes to their healthcare.
  • From the study, 29% of the respondents answered that they have difficulty with comprehending basic medical cost, 25% do not understand their bill, while 28% of the respondents cannot determine whether their treatment is covered.
  • According to the Accenture patient survey, 46% of respondents say that they require the price transparency for their budget planning purposes, while 49% of respondents state that "they knew their estimated out-of-pocket costs prior to seeing a medical professional," and only 25% were well-informed by their providers.
  • The burden of seeking cost and price information was shouldered by the patient and thus, impacting the accuracy of cost estimates.
  • Financial education and payment discussion are some critical elements in a patient's healthcare experience.
  • 41% of respondents state that they are concerned with their ability to pay for medical services, with 11% saying that price comparison is a factor for providers.
  • If patients know the price and cost of medical care they seek, 60% would be likely to proceed to get the care. This shows that improving financial education and support could make patients stick to with their healthcare planning.

AVAILABILITY OF NON-TRADITIONAL SERVICES

  • According to the Accenture study, younger consumers dissatisfied with the existing state of healthcare, and currently, they are willing to try non-traditional services.
  • Non-traditional healthcare could be virtual care and retail walk-in clinics which are rapidly gaining popularity as of today.
  • As per the survey, 29% of the respondents state that they have already used some form of virtual care, a significant increase from only 21% in 2017.
  • Walk-in and/or retail clinics are now going mainstream with a penetration rate of 47%.
  • Many of the respondents who haven't experienced virtual care or retail walk-in clinics show a willingness to use this kind of service.
  • Another survey conducted by MedicineNet verifies this. It shows that 40% of adults aged 25-29 and 15% of adults 65 years and older have been using retail clinics.
  • Both studies show that affordability, quality, and accessibility are factors that drive the growth of these non-traditional services.

IMPROVED PATIENT EDUCATION

  • To improve patient's health, one can effectively manage it if they are aware of their "own personal health metrics and goals." Unfortunately, many patients suffering from chronic conditions do not have a full understanding of the complexity of their condition.
  • According to the West survey, 27% of patients feel that their healthcare team does not educate them on what their health metrics should be.
  • That's why 96% of respondents state that healthcare providers should improve their ongoing efforts of educating the patients with their condition and how to manage their health.
  • A face-to-face appointment or counseling is a good start, and it is vital for the patients to have proper communication with healthcare team in-between appointments.
  • On a survey of diabetic patients, 23% of respondents believe that their "healthcare provider does a poor job communicating about health metrics."
  • According to a McKinsey survey, many healthcare consumers want to "make informed choices about the care they receive" to address their needs.

RESEARCH STRATEGY:

We leveraged different healthcare-related studies and surveys to find the most desired elements/expectations of US consumers regarding their healthcare experience with providers and/or insurers from credible sources such as Deloitte, Accenture, McKinsey, and other similar sources. While there were many studies/surveys found relevant to request topic, many elements and expectations found were of similar findings where they predominantly relate to digital services and convenience. Due to this, no pre-compiled information found ranking which different elements/expectations are most desired by healthcare consumers, and additionally, excluding the two vital elements: digital services and convenience, the information became limited. In order to answer this information, we looked for other elements/expectations that are not related to digital services and convenience without any ranks of which were most desired. However, since the answers were mentioned in different sources, we can safely assume that aside from convenience and digital services, these four are of vital and significant elements/expectations desired by US health consumers
Part
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Part
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Elevated Consumer Healthcare Experience - Case Studies

Circle Medical and 24hr Home Care are two unique companies, each offering very distinct services, that are orientated towards elevating the consumer experience. Circle Medical has adopted patient-focused technology to deliver healthcare services to its patients, and in doing so, has become a market leader. 24Hr Home Care uses innovative services and partnerships to deliver the consumer an experience based on trust and transparency.

CIRCLE MEDICAL

WHAT THEY DID AND HOW THEY ELEVATED CONSUMER EXPERIENCE

  • Circle Medical is a San Francisco healthcare provider.
  • It provides primary healthcare for consumers. It also provides the software to run the practice.
  • Physician workload and decision support are assisted by automation and AI-based technology.
  • The company has developed a mobile app to elevate the experience of its patients. It serves and communicates with its patients through this app.
  • The app allows patients to set up insurance, find a doctor, make an appointment, chat with the doctor, receive appointment summaries, and check insurance co-pays and deductibles.
  • Extended hours of service, the option of appointments via telehealth, pop-up clinics, and the option of house-calls, at no extra cost, are all part of the elevated consumer experience. Circle Medical advocates continuity of care and developing a relationship with the doctor chosen by the patient.
  • The care is delivered on the patients' terms. This has seen Circle Medical experience fast-growth.

WHY THEY DID IT

  • George Favvas, one of the founders, describes the rationale for this approach in a number of his blogs.
  • He describes the importance of making healthcare both easier and more convenient for the patient and the need to elevate the healthcare experience. He discusses how changing patient demands were the reason for the patient-focused model of healthcare and the development of technology to support this approach by Circle Medical.

RESULTS EXPERIENCED

  • Circle Medical started in 2015 when founders George Favvas and David Kagan secured $2.9 million in their first round of funding after taking their concept through the Y Combinator startup accelerator program.
  • The company has been described as a "healthcare disruptor" because they start with the patient, not the provider or patient. It has also been described as a pioneer in providing healthcare that brings the doctor's office to a patient's home or work.
  • Circle Medical has now been recognized for its unique approach by publications such as Forbes. It is also experiencing unprecedented interest from investors as a result of the way it has elevated the patient experience.
  • As a result of the innovative patient-centered approach, a number of investors including Tencent, Real Ventures, and Ron Conway, have made investments in the company.
  • In 2018, it was announced that WELL Health had invested in the company, to leverage Circle Medical's technology into the Canadian healthcare market.
  • It has now raised $12.5 million in 3 funding rounds.
  • The company is currently considered one of the top 10,000 US companies at 8,150. This rank has risen by over 1,000 places in the last year.
  • Circle Medical has experienced growth of 164% in the amount of web traffic it experienced in the last year. It has an estimated annual revenue of $2.8 million.
  • Circle Medical has now launched over 40 technology-based healthcare products orientated on elevating the consumer experience.

24HR HOME CARE

WHAT THEY DID AND HOW THEY ELEVATED CONSUMER EXPERIENCE

  • 24Hr Home Care has been operating for over ten years. Throughout this time, they have adopted innovative approaches to home health care.
  • They have the philosophy that no person should feel alone and focus on helping their consumers to age safely and happily in their own homes.
  • The company has created its own signature training program that encompasses the areas that are specific to this particular demographic including fall prevention, diagnosis-specific nutrition, emergency preparation, and dementia-specific training.
  • They have also invested in partnerships, which are considered a key reason for their success.
  • 24Hr Home Care has worked with Cedar-Sinai to run a successful pilot program. This program used non-clinical carers to extend the bandwidth of the Cedar-Sinai ambulatory care and allowed Cedar-Sinai to offer home visits and check-ins with some more high-risk patients.
  • The company has formed partnerships with Uber and Lyft to connect seniors with ride-sharing apps.
  • 24Hr Home Care continues to look for new markets and partners across the healthcare industry.
  • It is currently looking to partner with Medicare advantage plans to offer these consumers these opportunities.
  • The focus for 24Hr Home Care is the consumer and making sure they feel comfortable with both the caregiver and the service provided. This is part of their guarantee to the consumer.

WHY THEY DID IT

  • 24Hr Home Care adopted this consumer-focused approach so they could become the leader in their healthcare field.
  • They adopted this approach because they understood their market. 24hr Home Care recognized that their success was dependent on the quality of their caregivers and adopted transparent processes so that their consumers felt safe having someone in their homes and felt the company's number one priority was their well-being.
  • The company adopted a consumer-focused approach because they recognized that consumer satisfaction is the key to success in any industry, especially the healthcare industry where relationships are based on trust.
  • The nature of the service they provide in the consumer's own homes dictates that the consumer experience must be the number one priority.

RESULTS EXPERIENCED

  • 24Hr Home Care had revenue of $71.3 million in 2017. It experienced a 3-year growth rate of 85%.
  • In 2018 the company was described as 1 of the 3 fastest-growing home healthcare companies in the US.
  • In the last 10 years, 24Hr Home Care has received over 45 national and local awards for its innovative customer-focused approach to health care.
  • The pilot with Cedar-Sinai has now become a permanent program due to its success.
  • The partnerships with ride-sharing companies have seen 24Hr Home Care partner with nearly 20 hospitals, including Cedar-Sinai and UCLA Medical, to provide transport home for patients following discharge. This has allowed them to extend their operations into new markets.
  • These services that elevate the consumer experience have seen 24Hr Home Care launch operations in 4 additional locations throughout California since 2017.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

Extensive researched included a range of healthcare industry publications, articles, and blogs to determine healthcare companies that are succeeding in elevating the consumer experience. Once it was determined that several companies met these criteria, each of the companies was considered individually to determine exactly how they had promoted the consumer experience and how it had impacted on their results. The two companies selected have experienced success by adopting this approach. These two examples were chosen because they had received considerable coverage in the national media and because each of them had adopted an innovative and creative approach to elevating the consumer experience.

In addition, a range of statements by the company executives and the websites of the respective companies were searched to determine why they had adopted this approach. Metrics indicating the approach had been successful, were obtained by searching a range of company databases and financial information. News publications, media, and press releases discussing the results of adopting a consumer-orientated approach were also considered, in evaluating the success of the companies.


Sources
Sources