The year 2020 was a game-changer in the way patients seek medical care and how healthcare practitioners provide their services. That said, the healthcare landscape was already undergoing a transformation, though 2020 seems to have accelerated changes.
A recent Definitive Healthcare survey polled leaders in the healthcare industry and asked about the trends they believe are the most important going forward. According to the results, consumerism is thought to be among the top trends as patients become more proactive in how they choose their physicians and medical treatment.
Patients aren’t just “patients” seeking health care any longer. These days, not only are they looking to receive medical advice and treatment, but they are doing their homework about where to get it. Nowadays, patients are considered consumers who shop around for health care much like any other commodity. They not only take the quality of care into consideration, but also convenience, ease of access, and cost.
According to the Definitive Healthcare survey, 14.4 percent of the votes went to consumerism as one of the most important trends shaping the healthcare landscape.
How Will Consumerism Change the Way Healthcare Is Offered?
The results from the poll seem to align with the way 2020 shaped up, given the spike in telehealth due to the current health crisis. In fact, more and more patients are choosing telemedicine as a way to connect with their healthcare providers, and physicians themselves are also increasingly adopting this platform to provide their services.
A recent survey from J.D. Power supports this notion. The survey showed that customer satisfaction for telemedicine scored 860 out of 1,000. That’s among the highest levels that the company has recorded within the healthcare industry.
Consumerism will pose challenges for the healthcare industry. The goal of consumerism is to give patients the power to become more informed and involved in their healthcare decisions, and healthcare practitioners will have to deliver.
Urgent care centers, retail medical care facilities, and telehealth are all giving patients more to choose from outside of conventional medical care sites.
In response to the growing popularity of these newer choices, healthcare practitioners will need to determine appropriate reimbursement rates for services provided. This is especially true in the case of telemedicine. Further, consumerism will transform employer health benefit plans, as patients assume more purchasing power and decision-making.
The Rise of Health Sharing Ministries
Consumers are not only choosing how they receive their medical care services, but they’re also looking at options other than traditional health insurance to manage the expense of medical care. Health sharing ministries offer a viable option.
Health sharing ministries can provide more flexibility in the types of healthcare practitioners members choose to see. These programs also offer a cost-savings approach to paying for medical care, as members can save up to 30 to 40 percent compared to conventional health insurance plans.
Over 2 million Americans have already made the switch. If you’re considering becoming a member of a health sharing ministry, UHSM has a variety of programs from which to choose to suit your needs and budget. Get in touch with a representative today to discuss your options or click here to see how much you can save with a health share program.