Millennials and Money: Healthcare Trends

by April 4, 2017
Doctor Resized

Millennials have shaped tons of industries, from entertainment to technology to education. Healthcare is no exception. (Photo by NEC Corporation of America, CC0)

With a purchasing power of over $200 billion annually, millennials are more than economic influencers: They drive trends based on their spending. The healthcare industry is no exception. Here are five trends that illustrate how millennials are shaping the healthcare market.

The rise of quick care

According to a survey conducted by Communispace, only 56 percent of millennials reported that they had visited a primary care physician in the last year, compared to 74 percent of non-millennials. Efficiency and convenience are at the heart of the millennial shopping experience. According to HIT Consultant, millennials are going to retail clinics (34 percent) and acute care clinics (24 percent) to save time. In response, the number of retail and urgent care locations is exploding. According to the Convenient Care Association, the number of retail care clinics has risen by 127 percent since 2010.

First stop: the World Wide Web

The huge amount of medical information available online has driven advice-seeking millennials to the internet. Communispace reported that about half of millennials research symptoms and treatments online before consulting a doctor. And of those, 27 percent will self-treat at home and never set foot in a physician’s office. Millennials are also using the internet to find the best doctor for them. A survey conducted by Nuance Communications found that 54 percent of millennial responders use online reviews to find a doctor before scheduling an appointment.

Preventative apps

For millennials, health and fitness apps are some of the most motivating and convenient ways to invest in personal health, according to Communispace. More than 27 percent of those surveyed used a health and fitness app or a wearable health device, far outpacing the 12 percent of older generations. According to IDC, although the popularity of wearable tech has slowed, the industry is still growing by around 3 percent per year.

Costs keeping from care

According to a survey conducted by Transamerica Center for Health Studies, millennials cite affordability as the number one determinant in selecting their healthcare plan. More than half of millennials, according to HIT Consultant, say that they delayed or avoided in-person treatment due to costs. In comparison, only 18 percent of seniors and 27 percent of Baby Boomers reported the same reasons for avoiding medical care

Medical marketing

Doctors and traditional medical offices are turning to technology in an effort to attract new patients. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, nearly 90 percent of physicians are using mobile devices to engage patients. Healthcare brands that want to reach the millennial demographic are marketing to prospective patients as they would to retail customers. National conferences, like the Doctor’s Guide for Marketing to Millennials have become more popular as they focus on changing marketing strategies in the age of technology.


Reporter’s Takeaway

Look at how physicians in your area may have changed their marketing strategy in recent years. Is messaging addressing a younger constituency? Are advertising channels reflecting a younger patient base?

See if local hospitals are offering more wellness clinics and workshops, along with conveniences aimed at millennials: child-care, medi-spa services, one-day bootcamps.

Examine the rise of urgent care and retail clinics in your community. How do the numbers compare to those of 10 years ago?