Millennials And Their Dependency On Telemedicine And Telehealth

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The ‘Generation Y’ today is constantly evolving. This generation is widely known as the millennials (and they are aged between 18 and 29 years). Often acknowledged as irked, piqued and impatient, they are famous for their short attention spans and over dependency on technology.Unlike them, their predecessors called ‘Baby Boomers’ and ‘Generation X’have contrasting demographics. The US Census Bureau estimates that millennials in the region have crossed the 80 million mark.

“There are already as many millennials as baby boomers and that in a matter of two decades, Generation Y will represent the majority of our U.S population.” – Alliance Trends

As a result, Millennials have begun to draw attention from the healthcare sector. So they are widely appreciated for their increasing impact on the modern day healthcare industry.An interesting example is the popularity of telehealth among 60%Millennials, who eagerly support its use so as to eliminate in-person health visits.

In lieu of the same, CRM and technologytycoon Salesforce came up with “The State of the Connected Patient 2015” report last year, in which a changes in patient-healthcare provider interactions have been outlined, and how technology can improve connectivity. This was rolled out a few days before the closure enrollment period for Obamacare.

“While traditional communication channels remain popular among patients, the next generation of patients want innovations for how they connect with providers and share information” – Salesforce

The crux of the matter is technology exerts huge potential to improve health management because it is these insurance companies and healthcare providers who have the power to revolutionize healthcare through the power of connectivity.

“Mobile apps and devices are of the most interest to patients and 61% of insured Millennialsvote for 3D printing and 57%vote for “cutting-edge tools”– Medicitynews.com

A survey by ZocDoc and Harris Interactive further threw light on the fact that millennial adults shun poor quality healthcare services right away which has further pushed Healthcare providers and policymakers to revamp healthcare services. As a result, they have begunto progressively revamp the system so as to make it more appealing to the entire generation.

Some top ways in which millennials have changed the healthcare system are as follows:

1. Greater adoption of electronic services: In today’s information age, technological improvements render theability to do everything from mobile devices. This is being picked up by healthcare providers who are now picking up the trend and offering electronic services.

In order to access online portals of providers, patients can schedule appointments, fill-out paperwork, review medical records, explore preventative treatment options, and deliver medical bills on the go.

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Basically, the transition of electronic formatting delivers patients with an easier access to medical information as well as allows providers the flexibility to manage customers better.

“35% of those who did not use patient portals were unaware of their existence.” –Xerox

2. Immediate care: Millennials demand for immediate care which is pushing providers to schedule same-day appointments.

E.g.: The Cleveland Clinic plans to roll out a million same-day appointments every year.

3. Home-based care: Bypassing a trip to the doctor’s office is the best possible result. This is the mentality of the present generation which is the voice of approval through telehealth options. It also eliminates all unnecessary trips to the doctor.

“60% of millennials expressed interested in video chatting with their physicians from home. Of those surveyed, 63% also showed interest in using wearable devices to provide health data to their doctors.” – State of the Connected Patient by Salesforce.com

It is evident that the healthcare industry is now embracing home-based care.

“Marketing firm BCC Research predicts that the market for remote monitoring and telemedicine applications will reach $27.3 billion in 2016, which is more than double what it was in 2011.” -Health Affairs blog.

This anticipated boom projects that telemedicine applications will for sure eradicate time-consuming doctor visits.

4. Greater employment of health/wellness coaches: Our generation is plagued by terminal diseases and other diseases like stress, obesity, and alcohol abuse.

“One-third of those in the Millennial age range are either obese or overweight.” – Mayo Clinic

Moreover, binge drinking and high-stress levels serious health issues among youngsters. Hence, the best solution for millennials is toavoid regular checkups and rather hire a health/wellness coach. These personal trainers motivate, enable, and challenge clients to stay healthy. They also work alongside general physicians, and certified middlemen. So they effectively treat millennial-related health problems.

5. Patient-centered care:

“Millennials have a limited, almost non-existent relationship with their primary care physicians. 40% of those surveyed said their primary care doctor would not recognize them walking down the street.” – Salesforce

In order to mend such severed relationships, healthcare should become patient-based. So a doctor has to inform the patients about healthcare options at a personal level, more like a friend than a boss. So millennials will exercise greater incentive to maintain their health.

6. A Fee-for-Outcome payment model: An identifier of millennials is the need to save money.

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“The national healthcare spending will constitute 19.8% of our annual GDP in 2020, which is over 2 percentage points higher than it was in 2010.” – The Atlantic

Such a large expense throws light on significant healthcare costs.

In order to get more millennials on board, a better payment model is needed which can reward for high quality of care as compared to quantity. Real life examples of such payment models include bundled payment, savings and partial capitation. These systems are already being implemented to limit excessive spending by healthcare providers and lower the costs shouldered by consumers.

7. Private exchange upsurge: Some people and millennials research as well as purchase health insurance policies on healthcare.gov. These are private exchanges that are deployed by employers to render health benefits for employees without perverse costs.

While some millennials enter the workforce, some of them have a private exchange as per the CIO magazine.

8. Implementation of the health insurance: This is a mandate these days and as an individual mandate, it is basically imposed by Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It renders the option to purchase health insurance for it hinges on health insurance mandate. Moreover, this mandate delivers a fat incentive especially for millennials.

“In 2013, 24% of people in the Millennial age range were still uninsured.” – Gallup.Com

Though healthy people fail to buy health insurance, they can get subsidized healthcare. So a penalty for not buying insurance has to be outlined for the millennials.

9. Dependent-coverage provision: The affordable care actis being taken advantage of for the benefit of millennials. The ACA provisions and allows people under 26 years to stay on parents’ insurance. This is “lifeline” of young adults who were experiencing extreme difficulties in the onset of professional careers. However, millennials can now take advantage of the ACA and stay on parents’ insurance.With a boost in the labor market, young professionals can buy insurance coverage and in the meantime, their parents’ coverage becomes the best health insuranceoption for them.

10. Millennials want to work in Healthcare sector: The sixth annual Millennial Career Survey shows thatthese millennials favor healthcare jobs the most and voted 8 healthcare organizations as the top 25 employers.

Hence, the Time Magazine refers the millennials rightfully as the“Me MeMe Generation” for they will for sure have a deep impact on the medical world. No wonder that the healthcare industry is drawing motivation from them to grab new opportunities.

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