You already use a variety of tools to manage a successful practice, but changing consumer expectations and competition for low acuity care may require a new approach to attract and retain patients.
Trend One: People are motivated to shop for health care and will pay for access
Patients are increasingly price sensitive as their out-of-pocket costs have surged. As much as 50 percent of the working population is covered by a high deductible health plan and average deductibles have increased 25 percent over the last five years. As a result, your patients are financially incented to shop for the highest value available in healthcare.
And they expect to shop for healthcare like any other modern shopping experience. According to industry surveys, 90 percent of respondents used online reviews to evaluate providers and 84 percent indicated they trusted online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Access to comparative information has reinforced and enabled the trend to shop for healthcare.
Patients want convenience AND access. According to Trilliant Health, of the 25 percent of patients who used an emergency room in the last 12 months and who believed they could have gone elsewhere, 65 percent cited access-related reasons (i.e., office closed, couldn’t get an appointment in time) for choosing the emergency room. In addition, an increasing number of people and employers are turning to direct primary care or concierge medicine. With fees ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per year and a growing number of practices converting, it is clear patients are willing to pay for better access.
Trend Two: Patients have fewer reasons to rely on a primary care provider
Competition for low acuity care isn’t new – walk-in clinics, telehealth, home based care to name just a few. But, there is some good news. Patients who use urgent care are also more likely to use telehealth, so these two factions will increasingly compete for the same patients. The bad news is that these patients already shift an average of $30,000 per provider per year out of your practice. The even worse news is that app-based diagnostic tools and home testing kits, coupled with consumer willingness to use these tools, have the potential to shift even more low acuity care out of your practice.
And the nature of your competition is changing. Teladoc, a national telehealth company, launched a service enabling patients to select a primary care team to manage their care clearly signaling an intent to convert those who first used them for a simple telehealth visit to long term clients. The initial threat to you was the loss of low acuity care, but the emerging threat is new patients never contact your practice and even your established patients may switch for the convenience.
New ways to serve your patients
The ability to serve patients in new ways is critical to your future success. They have access to a variety of tools to self-manage, convenient access to a variety of settings and shop for health care differently than ever before. GoCrew puts the power to run your business — effectively and profitably — in your hands. Now you can better manage the quality and cost of the healthcare experience by giving patients access to you and your team when and how they want. Our platform was designed to support convenient access and uses tools like direct messaging, video discharge instructions and real time feedback to optimize the experience of both you and your patients. Improving time to care, care efficiency, and patient loyalty will also improve your bottom line.