Consumerism has been a hot healthcare trend for some time. Though, it hasn’t truly materialized. This has been due to a lack of transparency, personalization and health plan restrictions.
But as healthcare changes, consumers are becoming more responsible for where and how they receive care. In a post-Obamacare world, it’s likely we’ll be more directly exposed to costs through health savings accounts and high-deductible plans. So, people will increasingly seek out options that are the most economical and accessible to them.
This means providers need to start thinking more broadly about the total patient experience. Is your website easy to use? Do you offer web-based appointments? Do you have enough parking? Are patients able to easily understand costs up front?
We also expect new state laws to be enacted that protect and empower consumers to increasingly become more in control of how they’re spending their healthcare dollars. It’s already happening in California, Florida, Connecticut and Utah, which have passed laws that cap the amount that can be collected for surprise billing. And other states have websites that allow patients to compare pricing for common procedures.
It’s safe to say that not only is care going beyond the four walls of a hospital, but so is the entire buying experience.
Over the next few years, it’s not just about improving clinical performance, it’s also going to be about who has the best customer reviews. When we talk to our members, they know the entire patient experience is key. That’s why they’re constantly sharing what works with each other through Premier collaboratives and virtual communities. Together, we must create new standards for the total care experience so that consumers choose the most valuable organizations.
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I am a healthcare IT and supply chain leader who develops and executes procurement technologies and strategies within healthcare. When I'm not working, you’ll find me reading Percy Jackson with my children and playing scrabble with my wife.
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