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4 Ways Healthcare Systems Will Evolve to Become More Consumer-Centric

As millennials gain more and more power over the healthcare system, the way services have been provided will change. Consumer-centric models are inevitable.

As millennials gain more power within the healthcare system, it’s reasonable to assume that the way healthcare services have been provided will change. Why? Because millennials prefer convenience and are concerned about costs. It’s estimated that 45% of millennials don’t have a primary care provider! Baby boomers, on the other hand, are living longer and are becoming sicker, with many suffering from multiple, complex conditions.

Consulting and accounting firm KPMG recently published a report on what the “inevitable” consumer-centric future healthcare system will look like. These are the significant changes the researchers are anticipating.

1. Treating individuals as people rather than patients

Prioritizing the needs of individuals seems to be by the idea of consumer-centrism. However, the report goes one step further: healthcare systems must endeavor to meet consumers’ changing needs. This is a stark difference from today’s practice, where consumer preferences are rarely considered. In addition, KPMG recommends healthcare organizations invest in understanding patient motivation as a path to changing their behavior and improving health outcomes.

2. More investment in advanced technologies

Implementing and driving changes in the healthcare system should be a commitment to improving patient outcomes. This, however, will become more challenging as the population ages. According to KPMG, genetics tools, risk stratification calculators, rare disease detection algorithms, machine learning, natural language processing, and predictive analytics can all have a positive impact. These technologies can also reorient healthcare systems toward prevention, early diagnosis, and cures rather than just treatment. 

For example, by 2025, 90 percent of U.S. hospitals will use artificial intelligence to rapidly diagnose chronic conditions. KPMG advises that smaller systems with fewer financial resources should consider partnerships with biotech companies and scaled payers. 

3. Layered care delivery models

Numerous reports have found that many hospitals are financially weak or on the verge of closing. Yet, at the same time, experts expect a boom in the number of alternative healthcare facilities available, such as urgent care centers. KPMG compared this shift to how traditional retailers now layered their products through various digital and in-person channels.

Under the umbrella of “layered” models are:

  • Retail Clinics: Researchers believe these clinics will evolve from mainly treating acute illnesses to more chronic conditions.
  • Telemedicine: As the Covid pandemic has shown, this form of medicine has helped consumers access care regardless of geography, mobility, or economic status. It’s also helped healthcare providers assist each other with complicated cases.
  • Critical Care At Home: This model has been shown to improve patient outcomes and cost up to 50% less than inpatient services, depending on the procedure.

KPMG notes that the success of this approach will be the reciprocal relationships between healthcare systems and organizations already thriving in one of the above three spaces. 

4. Embracing Consumer Desire for Convenience Through Technology

58% of millennials and 64% of Gen-X’ers say they’d switch healthcare providers if they could book appointments online. This indicates an actual demand for technology to make care simpler. Many start-ups are already playing in this space. KPMG stresses that to be successful, providers must “integrate seamlessly with the ongoing physical delivery of healthcare” so patients associate them with the health system itself.

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