Online comparison shopping for healthcare services increased 257% since 2012: UnitedHealthcare survey

More than one-third of Americans now use the internet or mobile apps to compare pricing for healthcare services, representing a steady increase in online comparison shopping over the last several years, per a new UnitedHealthcare report.

The fourth annual Consumer Sentiment Survey polled more than 1,000 U.S. adults about their technology use with regards to healthcare. Among all age groups, 20 percent said the internet or an app is the first source they look to for information about health conditions or symptoms, including 30 percent of millennials and one-quarter of Gen Z. Healthcare professionals, however, ranked highest of any group, at nearly 50 percent.

Additionally, 37 percent of respondents said they use the internet to comparison shop for healthcare services — a 257 percent increase from 2012. Of those online comparison shoppers, 80 percent said the experience was "very" or "somewhat" helpful, and almost 40 percent said their online research had influenced a change in their healthcare facility, provider or both.

View the full results of the survey here.

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