More than one-third of consumers don't have preference for a healthcare brand, report finds

A consumer report from NRC Health that surveyed millions of healthcare consumers found that more than a third of consumers expressed no preference for a healthcare brand compared to independent practitioners in 2020, NRC said.

Other notes from the report include:

1. Patient deferment rates will continue to rise due to patient anxieties about the novel coronavirus. Deferment rates in 2020 were up to 22.4 percent at the end of March and 30.4 percent by the end of June. Delaying care threatens hospital revenue streams and may cause more serious outcomes for consumers in the long term, NRC said.

2. The future of telehealth delivery looks uncertain, as only 27 percent of consumers "say they will consider telehealth as a potential alternative for future visits," NRC said.

3. Wearable tech and social media seem to be under-tapped venues for healthcare system-consumer interaction. While only 23 percent of internet users are currently seeking health information on social media, that number will likely rise as 70 percent of consumers expressed interest in receiving healthcare information on social media, NRC said.

"It cannot be overstated just how dramatically COVID-19 has accelerated the trajectory of consumerism in healthcare," Helen Hrdy, NRC Health chief growth officer, said in a press release. "The onus falls on healthcare leaders to move the industry forward by ensuring patient safety, building consumer trust and bringing more human understanding into every care experience."

More articles on consumerism:
VA and Fitbit roll out digital health services to 10,000 patients, staff
Google, Amazon reportedly developing sleep monitoring features for digital assistants
BCBS of Kansas City rolls out digital health engagement platform


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