Accenture study finds millennials, Gen Z are looking to technology, nontraditional settings for healthcare

Younger generations are less likely to have a primary care doctor. However, on the whole, virtual care and walk-in clinics are on the rise.
By Laura Lovett
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Millenial on a laptop

When it comes healthcare, young adults expect more technology and nontraditional settings to be integrated into their care than previous generations, according to a new study released by Accenture at HIMSS19 this morning.

The study found that Gen Zers and millennials are much less likely to have a primary care doctor than older generations. In fact, only 67 percent of millennials and 55 percent of Gen Zers reported having a PCP — that is compared to 84 percent of the Baby Boomers and 76 percent of Gen Xers.

“The finding that was most intriguing and we wanted to bring forward to HIMSS was not only the general use of nontraditional care is increasingly significant, but also if you look underneath it there is a significant age bias and it is heavily skewed younger,” Kaveh Safavi, senior managing director for Accenture’s global healthcare business, told Babyforyou.net.ua. “But younger we are creeping up into the Gen Z, millennial and even Gen Xers.”

While having a PCP may be on the decline, consumers are increasingly choosing non-traditional care. For example, 47 percent of customers have used a walk-in or retail clinic and nearly 30 percent of responders said they used some form of virtual care.

“The concept that people go to their doctor as their [starting] place of care is not an assumption we should make,” Safavi said.

The survey also reported that more and more consumers are looking for providers with digital capabilities. Seventy percent of patients in this year’s survey reported wanting to receive reminders via email or text about preventative or follow-up care — up from 57 percent in 2016.

One subject that can be agreed upon by all generations in the study is that when it comes to cost, transparency is key.

“Transparency about cost is equally important to the satisfaction of younger and older consumers (65 percent believe it to be very important or critically important factor),” authors of the report wrote.

The report comprises answers from 7,993 consumers over the age of 18. Consumers from Australia, England, Finland, Norway, Singapore, Spain and the United States participated in the study. The research was conducted by Oxford Economics on behalf of Accenture.

Accenture annually releases this report at HIMSS. In last year’s report, the company said the use of telemedicine was on the rise, with a 25 percent adoption rate. It appears that the upward trend continued this year, moving up to 30 percent.

“There is plenty of evidence that people are thinking about their care options in a more complex way than simply, ‘I go to [the] doctor,’” Safavi said.