Changing Perceptions: Millennials and the Healthcare Industry

Hey there avid blog reader. This guest post is from Akshata. When she mentioned the topic of millennials and healthcare industry I was immediately intrigued.  If you follow me on instagram, I am constantly preaching about money and health. I believe there is a close relationship between the two and for unknown reasons millennials are not putting time into health. Hope you enjoy the guest post as Akshata covers the relationship of millennials and the healthcare industry.


 

As the largest generation in the United States, millennials are influencing just about every industry today. Healthcare is no exception. Millennials have and will continue to have a severe impact on how the healthcare industry functions, largely due to the changing perceptions on health care amongst this generation.

 

For one, 79 percent of elderly Americans (65 and older) are satisfied and even praise the healthcare system. Contrary to this, millennials think the system doesn’t work and lacks the efficiency that they are used to, due to the ultra-connected world they grew up in. Millennials tend to believe that the healthcare industry, much like other capitalist businesses, is just out to make a profit, focusing more on pushing pills than providing the services it is meant to.

 

A possible explanation for this attitude could be that millennials don’t have a personal relationship with a physician. Most older folks have a “family doctor” that they’ve been seeing for years, whom they consult every time they face any sort of health issue. Millennials, on the other hand, tend to gravitate towards specialists, and move from doctor to doctor without feeling or even trying to foster a personal connection. In fact, a 2015 study found that nearly half of millennials have no personal relationship with a physician.

 

To be fair, millennials, due to their age, are less likely to have as severe health problems as older generations in general. Still, even when a problem does arise, the youth focus on quick and efficient solutions, with most choosing a physician that is close in terms of proximity as opposed to traveling further to consult with a doctor they’ve seen before. In fact, time is one of the most cited factors for why millennials avoid going to the doctor completely, in turn explaining the rise in self-diagnostics via platforms like WebMD and MayoClinic.

 

For millennials, the cost of healthcare coverage is of primary importance. Even though millennials tend to make up the majority of activists pushing for affordable care, women’s health, and other healthcare issues, they will more often ask for the cost of a particular treatment before engaging in it. Similarly , they tend to select insurance plans based on premiums as opposed to other factors. 40 percent of millennials say they are more likely to participate in health programs that are “easy or convenient to do,” focusing predominantly on programs that meet their work/life balance needs.

 

These changing attitudes toward healthcare mean that the industry as a whole need to adapt to keep up. With a focus on technology, health care providers are moving to online, easily accessible platforms that can provide a personal relationship with a doctor while also catering to the demands of proximity and instant availability that millennials desire. Considering how well millennials adapt to technology and digitization, this is a great move on the part of providers. In fact, millennials are the ones that have spearheaded the use of wearable sensors in conjunction with healthcare apps, allowing for quicker access to actionable information. In terms of the actual care itself, developers are making giant strides to provide a more effective system with advancements such as big data and data mining coming into play to assist in making real-time, immediate, and personalized diagnoses.

 

A straightforward system that doesn’t involve hidden costs and fees and provides suitable healthcare services needs to be put in place, appealing to the ideals of transparency and frankness. This is the sort of shift that will appeal to millennials. Ultimately, healthcare providers need to cater to the changing perceptions amongst millennials to keep up with this fast-paced generation. As millennials become parents, they will not only be responsible for their own health, but also that of their children, exponentially increasing their influence. It’s vital for the healthcare industry to start listening and providing in line with their expectations, and to support millennials and the next generation in leading healthier lives.


Akshata has a passion for traveling and exploring the world. She in very interested in entrepreneurship and sustainability in everyday life. Being a foodie, she spends a good amount of time cooking up concoctions in her kitchen, recording her recipes and travel adventures on her blog, With Love From Akshata.

 

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