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Ease, Convenience, and Choice Outrank Quality of Care, New Survey Reports

January 25, 2019

According to NRC Health’s 2019 Healthcare Consumer Trends Report, 51 percent of the 223,000 patients surveyed in 2018 selected convenience and access to care as the most important factors in their health care decision-making process.

This places convenience higher in terms of influence than insurance coverage (46 percent), doctor/nurse interpersonal conduct (44 percent), brand reputation (40 percent), and quality of care (35 percent).

Patients routinely expressed satisfaction with, and appreciation for, their doctors and nurses, which is not surprising given the healing work that they do. However, only about 25 percent of those surveyed felt their providers were adequately informed about their health histories, and two-thirds reported that administrative and support staff failed to treat patients with respect. Other patient complaints included excessive wait times and issues with billing and insurance.

As convenience becomes the primary driver in health care consumption, services like urgent care clinics, retail care clinics, and telemedicine services are becoming increasingly popular. This survey reported one-third of patients are frequent consumers of retail clinical care, through outlets such as CVS Minute Clinics or Rite Aid RediClinics.

Several larger health systems are now focusing on how to improve the patient experience and offer care in a way that builds a personal relationship in addition to providing quality clinical services.

In support of HAP members’ efforts to better serve their patients, HAP continues to advocate for a broader use of telemedicine services across Pennsylvania and for increased pricing transparency. HAP also has led efforts to help hospitals and patients understand what the new, online Chargemaster information represents.

To learn more about HAP’s efforts to establish greater access to telemedicine, contact Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy. For information about billing and pricing transparency, please contact Jolene Calla, Esquire, HAP’s vice president, health care finance and insurance.

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