Patients As Consumers

The changes to the healthcare industry are increasingly focused on addressing patients as consumers. Such a change means that providers must of course emphasize quality and work toward price transparency, but they must also seek to determine what patients desire most. It is this last effort that is transforming the healthcare sector more like businesses of other sectors; what consumers want, is what drives competition and ingenuity (and oftentimes commoditization).

Under the healthcare reform legislation, the federal government views patients as consumers. This emphasis has indeed begun to empower patients in a move that will only gain more momentum over time. The Health Research Institute of PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted a consumer survey regarding the assessments of patients as consumers given the changes on the healthcare industry. Here are some highlights of the survey’s findings:

64% of respondents said they are open to trying new, non-traditional ways of seeking medical attention or treatment if the price is right; 18% would try regardless of price

49% stated they are very likely or somewhat likely to have a wound or pressure sore treated at a clinic in a retail store or pharmacy

44% of respondents said they are very likely or somewhat likely to have an ECG at home using a device attached to their phone with results wirelessly sent to their physician

43% stated they are very likely or somewhat likely to have a pacemaker or defibrillator checked at home wirelessly by their physician

37% of respondents said they are very likely or somewhat likely to have chemotherapy at home

34% stated they are very likely or somewhat likely to get an MRI at a clinic in a retail store or pharmacy

26% of respondents said they are very likely or somewhat likely to have dialysis at a medical clinic in a retail store

The survey can be found here.

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Contact ABISA, a consultancy specializing in solo and small group practice management. Visit us at ABISALLC.com.

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