I was in an E-Strategy Committee Meeting at Wellmont Health System on Monday evening when a physician asked a straight-forward question: “What percentage of patients do not have their own primary care physician?” I told him that I was not sure, but that I would find out. So, this week we surveyed just over 3,000 consumers as to whether or not they had their own primary care physician.
With disruptive companies like Amwell, Teledoc, American Well, MDLive, Care Vital and dokita247 offering consumers access to a physician 24 hours a day, from any location in the world, as long as the patient has a computer, tablet or smart phone, we wanted to test to what degree they pose a threat to our clients’ primary care base. So, we surveyed a little more than 3,000 consumers to understand their perspective.
We asked a simple question: “For the same price, who would you prefer to see? 1) Your Doctor at his or her office, 2) Any Doctor via your computer or skype, 3) Any Doctor via your tablet/facetime or 4) Any Doctor via your phone/facetime.”
We at 3d Health have long been interested in the role of the consumer within healthcare – we were the first firm in the country to incorporate patient access results into our Provider Development Plans and we have surveyed thousands of consumers to better understand their perspective on particular topics. Now, we are rolling out our Consumer Strategy Practice to our clients and the industry.
Over the past two weeks we have discussed the evolution of both television and healthcare, and what seems to be the missing consumer revolution within the latter. Republican Senators Bill Cassidy and Susan Collins introduced the Patient Freedom Act on Monday as a replacement bill to the Affordable Care Act. In addition to block grants to the states, the bill calls for pre-funding individual health savings accounts (HSAs) from tax rebates. The HSAs are then coupled with high deductible, catastrophic health insurance.
Basically, some patients would have their own HSA (pre-funded by their tax rebate) and would decide when, how and where they spend their healthcare dollar. Structurally, if anything can spur consumerism in healthcare, this is probably it. So, let’s imaging that a disruption on the scale of Netflix occurs within healthcare, what will consumers demand?
We believe that in the coming wave of consumerism, patients’ demands will center around five elements:
Last week we examined the evolution of television, with a particular focus on benefits to the consumer. This week, we are going to consider the history of hospitals and health systems.
Healthcare has often been compared to other “stodgy” industries such as banking and utilities - change-adverse industries that experienced consolidation and some degree of technical revolution for the consumer. But, what if healthcare is in for a more radical change? Maybe considering the dramatic change in how consumers access and view television is a better barometer of what is to come in healthcare.
In an effort to continue to provide the most comprehensive and interesting data in the industry, we are constantly gathering information. A few weeks ago we discussed patient expectations for access to their primary care physicians. In this study, we learned that 77.4% of respondents expect to see a new primary care physician in seven days or less, which is much quicker than the reality across the country.
Recently we completed another national study of 3,030 potential patients and posed the question, “Where would you prefer to be treated for a minor illness?”
In our work with thousands of primary care physicians across the country, we have found that only 30% of physicians are able to offer a new patient appointment within seven days. Our hypothesis was that patient expectations would vary from this reality. So, we completed a national study of 6,725 potential patients across the country and asked “how many days are you willing to wait to see a new primary care physician?”
Our clients increasingly ask us whether patients prefer to see their doctor close to home or close to work. Rather than rely on anecdotal information and gut instinct, we completed a national study on the topic and received 3,025 responses – and the results are very interesting.
In April of 2015, Congress replaced the wildly unpopular Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula in a rare, overwhelmingly bipartisan vote. The elation, however, had more to do with getting rid of the angst of the annual doc fix and less to do with the system that replaces the SGR formula. So, what is replacing the SGR?