Healthcare’s race to catch up with millennials

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Healthcare’s race to catch up with millennials

January 10, 2020
Business Affairs
By Paul Crnkovich and Dan Clarin

Healthcare is woefully behind other industries when it comes to meeting the needs of millennials. In an era of instant messaging, same-day delivery, and constant mobile access, today’s tech-savvy younger adults have high expectations for consumer quality, convenience, and cost.

Healthcare providers must act now to close an ever-growing gap between those expectations and existing care delivery models. Yet many healthcare organizations are slow to change, restrained by complex organizational structures and rooted in traditional delivery models.

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Even so, the industry is changing, with or without them. Traditional and non-traditional providers across the country are in a race to completely reimagine, reshape, and remake healthcare. They are seeking to compete with services such as same-day appointments, virtual visits, and direct messaging with physicians or other clinicians.

To succeed in a shifting business model, healthcare leaders first must work to better understand the healthcare needs and demands of young adult consumers, particularly as it relates to routine care services. This article features highlights of a recent report, including consumer research on Millennials’ healthcare behaviors, and steps healthcare organizations can take to meet new consumer demands. The report, titled How Millennials Are Reshaping Healthcare’s Future, was published by management consulting and software firm Kaufman Hall.

The millennial generation is defined as those born from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s. Millennials range in age from the early 20s to the late-30s, and recently surpassed baby boomers as the largest population segment at 73 million. Millennials’ healthcare spending is significant and growing as they make care decisions for themselves, their young children, and increasingly, their aging parents. They make up about 34 percent of the population, and contribute 21 percent of total healthcare spending.

As with all generations, millennials have been shaped by the events and experiences of their formative years. When the Great Recession hit in 2007-2008, most Millennials were teenagers or in their early 20s. They have grown up more cost-conscious as a result, and are inclined to shop for the best and most convenient care at the lowest cost. Overall, millennials are less brand loyal than older adults. Healthcare providers seeking their attention must work to both win and retain their business.

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