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Human Capital Summit: Innovative Experiences For Health Consumers

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By Gibson - Mar 18, 2015 6:30:00 AM

On March 11, 2015 we presented the Human Capital Summit. Meredith Baratz, Vice President of Strategic Insight and Innovation at UnitedHealthcare, presented on designing innovative experiences and solutions for health consumers. Below are the highlights.

HCS-MeredithConsumers who are engaged in their health care are:

  • Twice as likely to ask about provider cost
  • Three times as likely to choose a less expensive treatment option
  • 20% more likely to follow treatment regimens carefully

But consumers don’t exist in a vacuum. We need to be agile and meet them where they want to be met.

The industry is responding with new consumer-centric developments.

  1. Transitioning from provider-centric care to profoundly new possibilities
  2. Changing how we fund and shop for coverage and care
  3. Rapidly expanding capabilities fueled by new entrants and new partnerships
  4. Expanding opportunities for wellness

Transitioning From Provider-Centric Care To Profoundly New Possibilities

What are consumers willing to do to get quality, convenient, and cost effective health care? In a survey by PWC, consumers were asked how likely they would be to choose these options if they cost less than the traditional care choices.

  • Check for ear infection at home using a smartphone device = 46.9%
  • Use an at-home strep test purchased at a store = 58.6%
  • Have a wound treated at a clinic in a retail store = 49.1%
  • Send a digital photo of a skin problem to a doctor = 54.8%

Note: while consumers were answering these as hypothetical situations, each of these solutions do exist in the market today but are not mainstream.

From DIY monitoring and care to opening a consumer economy in health - this shift in the market towards consumer-centric care could transfer $64 billion of traditional provider revenue to new avenues.

Looking Ahead
By 2020, diversity will move beyond the obvious. This could include:

  • Lifestyle decisions – how people are choosing to live, work, and play – will change radically.
  • Expectations and roles based on gender will continue to shift.
  • Diverse consumers will bring new needs and values to the forefront of the marketplace.
  • Fragmentation and diversity will bring tensions to the marketplace and to society.

How might consumer demand for personalized experiences shape their expectations of the health care system? Why not offerings tailored to each person’s unique genetic make-up, financial needs, and personal preferences?

Changing How We Fund And Shop For Coverage And Care

What would be an example of a seamless end-to-end health encounter?

  1. Research symptoms
  2. Find the right providers
  3. Schedule an appointment
  4. Receive care
  5. Pay for services
  6. Conduct follow up and feedback

No one provides the full end-to-end experience today, but some are beginning to integrate various pieces of that continuum.

43% of people prefer to use an online health care shopping website. The online resources for consumers are improving to include ACA tools and better user interfaces for health insurance shopping, as well as appointment scheduling and provider reviews.

Looking Ahead
Today’s bifurcated economy will become more extreme.

  • Expectations for meaningful service and experience will continue to rise.
  • Emerging economies will present growing opportunities, and challenges.
  • Lower income consumers will have increasingly high expectations, which will drive upper income consumers to new extremes.
  • Traditional innovation and ownership models will be overturned.

Health shopping experiences are changing dramatically. How might the chasm economy create new and different needs? Why not harness new economy business models?

Rapidly Expanding Capabilities Fueled By New Entrants And New Partnerships

24 of the 38 Fortune 50 companies with a major stake in health care are new entrants. 24 health care incubators have launched over 500 new companies in the past 3 years. The question for incumbents becomes…compete or align?

New partnerships and business ventures are forming each day. And many are improving the consumer experience through these new business relationships.

Looking Ahead
There will be a systems overhaul. Pop-up innovators and unexpected challengers will wage an asymmetrical war on yesterday’s giants.

  • The cracks and fissures we are seeing in today’s system are just early indicators of an eventual overhaul.
  • Digital will continue to set new expectations for remote, do-it-yourself, and localized services.
  • Global mistrust in traditional authorities like government and business is high, and is pushing consumers toward alternative solutions.
  • Regulatory and legal challenges will pose significant hurdles.

Who will be the health care household names in 2020? Why not unconventional partners to create new value with speed to market?

Expanding Opportunities For Wellness

New players are reshaping and expanding the $267 billion US fitness and wellness industry. This includes wearables, health information access, mobile health apps, weight loss programs, alternative medicine, nutrition, and more.

Looking Ahead
We are looking at an augmented wellbeing. There is a redefining of the wellness continuum already beginning, and the absence of illness may no longer define health.

  • Today’s quantified self movement will expand and become ubiquitous.
  • Personalized medicine will change the way people are diagnosed and treated.
  • The scientific understanding of the causes of aging will continue to grow stronger.
  • Advances in food technology will drive the domain of preventative health forward and contribute to longer lifelines.
  • Stem cell technology is advancing to the point where damaged organs and body parts can be regrown.

How will expectations of health and wellbeing shift with the new opportunities for advancement? Why not a more holistic approach to physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing?

Tremendous Opportunities In The Future Of Health Care

Health care is a $3 trillion economy, but it is complex, fragmented, and dissatisfying to all involved. The patient, care provider, regulatory, and payer must all be considered. Together, they create a fertile ground for positive disruption in the form of better health outcomes, improved customer experience, and lower costs.

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