A majority of people in the United States (70%) said they want health systems to be more actively involved in their health management activities, according to the 2022 State of Health Care Consumer Report from Kaufman Hall.1
People are interested in getting support for healthy eating (41%), paying for equipment or exercise programs (40%), or offering telehealth visits to discuss symptoms (39%). Overall, 34% of respondents manage their diet and nutrition (34%), wear fitness trackers (31%), engage in physical health activities (29%), receive mental health services (22%), practice activities of self-care (18%), use home diagnostics (12%) and use alternative therapies (12%).
Health management activities involving consumers are not always integrated into a medical visit. While 59% of consumers who use mental health services do so under the supervision of a physician, only 43% of consumers who use a wearable device do so under the supervision of a physician.
“As people adopt behaviors that make them more aware of their health and well-being, they are increasingly interested in integrating those activities with their health care experience,” said Dan Clarin, a managing director at Kaufman Hall and the lead author of the report, in a statement. “Unfortunately, the health management activities that consumers engage in are often disconnected from their clinical care. By listening to their consumers and integrating their insights, health systems have an opportunity to better meet evolving consumer needs.”
The report notes that narrowing access to health care services complicates matters. Nearly 4 in 10 people who get health insurance through their employer have access to 1 plan (38%), or 2 plans (33%). Fewer insurance choices mean fewer affordable options for consumers and doctors to design the type of health care experience patients may want, with the services covered by the plan.
Those in commercial insurance plans reported participating in an average of 8 health management activities, while people with Medicaid reported participating in 6 health management activities.
“Today’s insured consumers often have fewer options for health plans, which can translate into fewer choices for the services they seek,” Clarin said. “At the same time, persistent health care disparities are posing major public health challenges. Health systems must be able to elevate the voice of the consumer throughout their organizations and play a leading role in improving the health of the communities they serve.
The report’s authors say the healthcare industry will be increasingly challenged to identify and meet evolving consumer demands for personalized health management, and that incorporating the consumer voice will not be easy or quick. Adopting consumer-centered principles for delivering care and building lasting, respectful relationships with the patients they serve will be imperative for health systems moving forward.
Kaufman Hall surveyed nearly 3,500 health care consumers for the report.
Clarin D. 2022 State of health care consumers report: who will help consumers put the pieces together? Kaufman Hall. September 27, 2022. Accessed October 21, 2022. https://bit.ly/3VIWeMJ
Leave a Reply