The Health Management Academy

Horizon 2030: The Evolution of Consumer Expectations


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As the healthcare landscape changes, Leading Health Systems (LHS) will have to redesign and optimize their care delivery strategies and ways of working to keep up with key trends as consumer expectations continue to emphasize flexibility and access.

Key themes that will define the next decade of changing consumer expectations that LHS will need to respond to include:

1. Demographic changes in the US population will reshape what consumers want and expect from their healthcare providers.

  • As the Baby Boomer generation retires, Millennials and other younger patient cohorts will exert more and more influence over healthcare delivery models.
  • Younger patients will be particularly motivated by cost and episodic healthcare needs requiring access and convenience. There will be uptake in care sites outside the hospital and initiatives that better coordinate health and wellness programs.

2. Consumers are increasingly looking for a personalized approach; there is no longer a one-size-fits-all mindset in healthcare.

  • Subgroups of consumers will rely on healthcare differently based on preferences and needs. Through market fragmentation and technology options, consumers will have multiple pathways to care, which will challenge LHS’ ability to drive coordinated care.
  • As healthcare consumers grow increasingly empowered, LHS will need to adapt to provide care delivery to accommodate varying consumer preferences and leverage demographic differentiators to ensure long-term relationships and the stickiness of the patient-provider relationship.

3. With an increase in consumer-centric competitors entering the market, LHS should think about investments differently to incorporate those capabilities in order to remain relevant.

  • Out of industry competitors like Walmart, Amazon, and One Medical have made investments in the healthcare marketplace with new and innovative business models. These“ industry disrupters” are focused on creating a consumer-centric environment that provides consumers quicker, affordable, and easier access to care.
  • LHS are leaning in to develop their own strategies to compete in this new landscape, including identifying when to partner with industry to streamline care.

The Road to 2030: Key Questions for Consumer Strategy

As LHS build out consumer strategies moving forward, they should consider two categories of questions:

Providing and positioning information

  • Is your LHS offering patients comprehensive educational materials and resources related to their health conditions (e.g., cooking classes for diabetic patients)?
  • Is your LHS proactively communicating this information beyond care sites and into the community (e.g., population health programs and support relevant to the patient population)?
  • Are your clinicians delivering feedback and care options to patients in a manner that is positive and motivational?

Promotion of behavior or action

  • Are your clinicians encouraging patients to pre-commit to increasing care management and healthy behaviors (e.g., pre-commitment pledges to monitor blood pressure at home)?
  • Is your LHS offering a range of options to make intended healthy behaviors more convenient?
  • Does your LHS set default choice options when convenient (e.g., automatic default to participation in longitudinal surveillance studies)?