Appealing to Millennial Patients
HealthWare Systems Blog
on Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Appealing to Millennial patients is becoming increasingly important to a healthcare facility’s revenue cycle. Not only do they number 83.1 million and make up over 25 percent of the U.S. population, but Millennials are also driving new healthcare trends.
One alarming trend is that many Millennials do not have a primary care physician or keep up on regular health appointments and exams. Instead, a growing trend is their use of urgent care facilities. As Dr. Niket Sonpal (speaking with CBS) explained:
“We found that Millennials tend to want to have access to care right away, they want it immediately and they want to be able to see a doctor quickly . . . When they feel well, they don’t want to go to the doctors, and they don’t. So then when they feel unwell, they’re like I want to see a doctor right away and not wait for weeks for an appointment.”
Unfortunately, this trend has serious consequences. While many Millennials are health-conscious, they may be missing out on recommended eye exams, blood pressure screenings, PAP smears, STD/STI screenings, mental health screenings, and IBS/digestive exams, as well as failing to get vaccinations on time.
In order to help ensure Millennials receive the care they need, heed the healthcare trends that are appealing to Millennial patients.
The following are a few ideas to help get you started:
Don’t Waste Their Time
Wait times – As noted, Millennials don’t want to wait for care. The following common scenario is definitely not appealing to Millennial patients: first waiting days or weeks for an appointment, then waiting 20-30 minutes in the waiting room, THEN waiting in the exam room even longer before the doctor actually shows up. To prevent this situation from occurring, implement a solution like ActiveTRACK, which can lower wait times by 75%.
Telehealth – Offering telemedicine appointments is another way to help Millennial patients save time, something they highly value. Millennials are technologically savvy and accustomed to immediacy and convenience, so telehealth options may be attractive to them.
Simplify the Financial Aspects of Healthcare
Payment plans – One factor that may be keeping Millennials from accessing healthcare is the high cost. Offering payment plan options so that they don’t have to cover the cost of a large bill all at once can help Millennial patients afford the care they need.
Price transparency – Millennial patients want to compare costs between providers and obtain out-of-pocket estimates before receiving care. They also want to understand their bills before they pay them.
Health insurance confusion – Many Millennials are confused about their health benefit options and medical bills. Clearing up their health insurance confusion can really help you stand out from your competition. An easy place to start is by educating patients that many plans cover annual physicals at no cost.
Stay Technologically Relevant
Online payment options – Millennials are more likely than older generations to pay their bills using technology or mobile devices and may see paper bills as inconvenient and outdated.
Maintain a mobile and online presence – Use social media in healthcare to improve patient engagement. To help attract new patients, monitor online reviews of your facility and respond to any negative feedback. (Over 75 percent of Millennials check online reviews before choosing a doctor.)
Interoperability – It is hard for a generation that grew up with constant technological progress to understand how healthcare has been unable to keep up. In other aspects of Millennials’ lives, data can be instantaneously transferred with a click of a button. Interoperability in healthcare will be expected too, and there is technology that can help you achieve it.
In other industries, Millennials are used to having many choices. They expect companies to offer convenience and respect their time, provide competitive and transparent pricing, and keep pace with changes in technology. Health systems can learn from these consumer-centered practices that are standard in other markets. Plus, these practices are becoming more attractive to other generations as well.
Appealing to Millennial patients will help your facility keep up on the latest healthcare trends, attract a large group of potential patients, and boost your revenue cycle.