The rise of the consumer
The way consumers are making healthcare decisions, the plans they go for and how they use services are also changing the face of the industry. Healthcare is rising as a percentage of household expenditures and patients are becoming increasingly selective in the services they use, with cost, quality and convenience becoming key deciding factors.
“For 2019 we believe the consumer will be the biggest disruptor in healthcare. As the cost of care rises and the number of employers offering high deductible health plans (HDHPs) continues to grow, patients will continue to be involved in making decisions on how to allocate their healthcare dollars,” said Head of Healthcare Technology and Distribution at J.P. Morgan, Lisa Gill.
Over 70% Americans are covered by employer-sponsored healthcare
45% of the employer markets is enrolled in a HDHP
Source: National Center for Health Statistics
Over 70% of Americans are covered by employer-sponsored healthcare and 45% of the employer market is enrolled in a high deductible health plan, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, meaning the power of the consumer is not going away.
Retail pharmacy chains such as CVS and Walgreens with integrated pharmacy, clinic and lab services in the same place are benefitting from heightened consumer awareness, thanks to their pricing, access and branding. Demographics are also changing the face of healthcare consumerism as most millennials and Gen Xers would rather use mobile or browse and book online for services than make an appointment in person or over the phone. Digital care or “telehealth” is a relatively unexploited pocket of the industry but is expected to grow as younger consumers search out healthcare services. Both CVS Health and Walgreens have rolled out virtual appointment plans and continue to expand their digital offerings. “Telehealth is virtually untapped today, but we expect utilization to increase with consumer demand, as it helps to solve two key issues: Lack of access to care and rising costs. In our view, we expect the next generation of healthcare offerings to be tailored to consumers in their most desirable settings, retail and home,” said Gill.