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Understanding the “why” for Gen Y: What Millennials are looking for in healthcare practices

Insight Article - July 15, 2021

Marketing/Social Media

Patient Flow

Patient Engagement

Jill Goodwin
It’s well known that Millennials differ significantly from older generations of patients. However, it’s lesser known that these differences extend to their expectations of healthcare practices, too.

According to a 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation, almost half of patients ages 18 to 29 and 28% of patients ages 30 to 49 did not have a primary care physician (PCP). This stands in stark contrast to the study’s participants in the 50- to 64-year-old age group, only 18% of whom did not have a dedicated PCP. Millennials tend to view themselves as being primarily responsible for their healthcare. They are less likely than previous generations to rely on a medical system that dissatisfies them or that they don’t trust.

It’s crucial that your practice optimizes its outreach and engagement to attract younger generations of patients by accommodating Millennial patients and meeting their expectations.

What younger generations expect from healthcare providers

There are a few things you should know about the Millennial generation’s views on healthcare before you can effectively target this age group with your medical services.

  • They research their options thoroughly. Around 38% of this generation trusts their peers more than their physicians. More than 55% of them consider the information they find online to be as reliable as that offered by a doctor. Millennials are twice as likely as older generations to act on health advice they find online. Plus, nearly half of them use reviews to find healthcare providers.
  • They expect upfront, transparent cost estimates. Millennials prioritize and expect price transparency in all areas of their lives. This cash-strapped generation is twice as likely as Baby Boomers and Gen Xers to request cost estimates before undergoing medical procedures and treatments. They are also more likely to forgo treatments that are out of their price range.
  • They expect access to apps for scheduling appointments. 71% of Millennials surveyed prefer scheduling medical appointments via apps, and 60% want access to virtual doctor’s visits. A significant percentage of young people prefer post-care follow-ups via text message, chatbot or email as opposed to traditional phone call check-ups.
  • They have different interpretations of being "healthy" than past generations. According to an Aetna survey, Millennials are twice as likely as Boomers and Gen Xers to include exercising frequently and eating healthily in their definitions of overall health. This generation is also interested in holistic and alternative forms of healthcare. 71% of them believe that good health should include both physical and mental wellness.
It’s crucial to recognize that, as the largest generation in the United States, Millennials have a significant amount of influence over the future of the healthcare industry.

Their expectations for nontraditional and modern care models are quickly changing the industry in unexpected ways. They are driving the creation of more digital care options, retail walk-in clinics and providers who offer affordable and transparent cost options.

How medical practices can target the Millennial demographic

The key to attracting the business of Millennial patients is to meet their unique needs and expectations, many of which pertain to digital care options and more transparent, cost-efficient treatment methods.

Medical and healthcare providers can target this demographic by offering:
  • Virtual consultation and patient record access. Like Gen Z, this generation grew up in the age of technology, and they expect its incorporation in their healthcare options. A monumental 92% of Millennial patients want complete two-way electronic communication with their healthcare providers. A further 83% of them seek out doctors who allow them to access their patient data online. Clearly, digital patient portals and telehealth services are essential for younger patients.
  • Online consultation scheduling. 71% of Millennials who participated in a Jefferson Health Survey expect their providers to offer online scheduling services. Implementing digital scheduling will benefit your own practice, as it enables your clients to make appointments 24/7 instead of only during business hours. Online services make it easier for patients to book with you on their schedules. This will make them more likely to choose your practice over your competitors.
  • Reduced wait times. Millennials expect to see a doctor almost immediately. Implementing same-day appointments and minimizing wait times will allow you to grow your practice and attract more Millennials.
  • After-hours and weekend consultations. Millennials are busy, and many of them work two or more jobs to make ends meet. You can meet their needs and attract younger patients to your practice by offering convenient healthcare options that fit their schedules. Millennials are more likely to choose your practice if you offer evening and weekend hours. This may mean that your initial business plan requires an overhaul. But adjusting your consultation times could greatly influence your appeal and profit margins.
  • A well-maintained social media presence. Millennials grew up using social media. They rely on social media (e.g., Instagram, Facebook and Twitter), search engines and review sites to find testimonials and information about your practice.
According to the aforementioned Jefferson Health survey, more than 65% of them discuss health topics and compare healthcare providers on social media websites. Maintaining a regular and authentic presence on social media platforms will enable you to engage younger patients. Plus, you can then offer them the information they need on the digital platforms they prefer.

Meeting Millennial demands

Millennials are the largest age group in the United States today. Their healthcare expectations are rapidly shaping the future of the industry.

It’s essential that healthcare providers supply the levels of service they seek if they aim to encourage young patients to join their regular patient rosters.

About the Author

Jill Goodwin
Jill Goodwin
Freelance writer

Jill Goodwin is a content champion for a variety of online publications. She often covers topics that cater to business owners and entrepreneurs with a strong focus on finances, productivity, management, and a few other topics.

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