Patients want health systems to be more involved in their health

Oncology Nursing NewsDecember 2022
Volume 16
Issue 6

Physician involvement can determine how much patients benefit from services provided.

A majority of people in the United States (70%) said they want health systems to be more actively involved with their health management activities, according to the 2022 State of the Healthcare Consumer Report from Kaufman Hall.1

People are interested in receiving support for healthy eating (41%), paying for exercise equipment or programs (40%), or providing telehealth visits to discuss symptoms (39%). Overall, 34% of those surveyed manage their diet and nutrition (34%), wear fitness trackers (31%), engage in physical health activities (29%), receive mental health services (22%), practice self-care activities (18%), use at-home diagnostics (12%), and use alternative therapies (12%).

The health management activities that consumers engage in are not always integrated into a medical visit. While 59% of consumers who use mental health services do so under a physician’s supervision, only 43% of consumers who use a wearable device do so under a doctor’s supervision.

“As people adopt behaviors that make them more mindful of their health and well-being, they are increasingly interested in integrating those activities with their health care experience,” said Dan Clarin, a managing director at Kaufman Hall and the report’s lead author, in a statement. “Unfortunately, the health management activities consumers engage in are often disconnected from their clinical care. By listening to their consumers and integrating their insights, health systems have an opportunity to better meet evolving consumer needs.”

The report notes that the narrowing of access to health care services complicates things. Nearly 4 of every 10 people who receive health insurance through their employer have access to 1 plan (38%), or 2 plans (33%). Fewer insurance choices mean fewer affordable options for consumers and clinicians to design the type of health care experience patients may want, with services covered by the plan.

Those in commercial insurance plans reported participating in 8 health management activities on average, while people with Medicaid reported engaging in 6 health management activities.

“Today’s insured consumers often have fewer options for health plans, which can translate into less choice for the services they are looking for,” Clarin said. “At the same time, persistent health care disparities are posing major public health challenges. Health systems must be able to both elevate the voice of the consumer throughout their organizations and play a leading role of lifting the health of the communities they serve.”

Report authors say the health care industry will be increasingly challenged to identify and meet evolving consumer demands for personalized health management, and that incorporating the voice of the consumer will not be easy or quick. Adopting consumer-centric principles to care delivery, and building respectful, sustainable relationships with the patients they serve, will be imperative for health systems moving forward.

Kaufman Hall surveyed approximately 3500 health care consumers for the report.

Reference

Clarin D. 2022 State of the healthcare consumer report: who will help consumers put the pieces together? Kaufman Hall. September 27, 2022. Accessed October 21, 2022. https://bit.ly/3VIWeMJ

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