This week we have a full issue of Insider News containing insights into how consumers want the health care system to change, concerns over the security of health technology, the consumerism trends that will affect health care in 2020, and more.
AllWays Health Partners announced a new program for members that was developed by the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center and is designed to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes, the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.
The program called “Path to Lifestyle Change” will be offered at no additional out-of-pocket cost to AllWays Health Partners members who have been identified as being at-risk for developing type 2 diabetes, the most serious form of the disease.
A focus group study by the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation (the Center) identified several sources of dissatisfaction with the health care system among low-income consumers with complex health and social needs. Based on the poll, Director of the Center Ann Hwang, MD, identified the following takeaways:
- Consumers are looking for an ongoing relationship with their primary care provider built on trust.
- Consumers struggle to manage their health care and get in touch with social services, and highly value having a coordinator or navigator who can help.
- Consumers understand that medical treatment is only part of their overall health needs, and are looking for a more holistic approach from their primary care providers.
- Consumers want one central location where they can go to receive all their health care and treatments, including medical and social services.
- Consumers are looking for a provider who is not just medically trained, but also takes time to understand their life experience and uses language they can understand.
The Altarum Healthcare Value Hub released a scorecard ranking 42 states and the District of Columbia on the following policy areas: extending coverage, lowering out-of-pocket costs, reducing low-value care, and curbing excess prices. States were also rated according to their outcomes following the enactment of said policies.
According to the report, Massachusetts was among the highest scoring states in terms of policy actions to extend affordable coverage to all state residents. It was also among the highest in terms of coverage outcomes (i.e., reducing the portion of the population that is uninsured).
A recent survey of over 1,000 American adults found that more than 60% said privacy issues deter them from using telemedicine and wearable fitness trackers.
The survey, conducted by Kantar in partnership with the Digital Health Summit, showed that consumers are skeptical about safeguards around their personal data. Only 38% trust that their information is protected, while 36% say they don't believe it is, and 26% are unsure.
Despite these concerns, however, the survey also found that more than half of Americans agree technology helps make them more connected to providers and aware of their personal care.
In 2020 consumerism will play a greater role in how payers make deals, use technology, hire, pursue equity, and spend
Ben Isgur, Health Research Institute (HRI) leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), says consumerism trends impacting health care include:
- Consumerism will change discussions about deal-making in 2020. The country can still expect a high volume of deals but the purpose will be different. In 2020, payers will instead use mergers to reform their image in consumers' minds.
- Technology will play a significant role in consumer experience in 2020. Once payers recognize the need for technology, they face the challenge of where to find workers with the skills to implement these new tools. It will be a year for payers to bulk up their workforce with technologically skilled workers.
- Having an equal representation of potential consumers in clinical studies, in algorithm development, and across the industry will be crucial in 2020. Yet health care executives don't recognize the significance workforce diversity can have on consumer experience.
- Payers will continue to focus on affordability as consumers continue to struggle with high out-of-pocket costs, burdensome deductibles, rising premiums and higher health care spending overall.