Millennial PatientA recent survey on demographic trend by the Pew Research Center found that Millennials have overtaken Baby Boomers and are the largest living generation in the United States. The survey reported that, in 2016, there were an estimated 79.8 million millennials (ages 18 to 35 in that year) compared with 74.1 million baby boomers (ages 52 to 70). The millennial patient has higher expectations and more spending power, and poses new challenges. In fact, there are some things that physicians and medical billing and coding companies need to know about serving millenials, the largest cohort in the U.S. population.

  • Millennialsare digitally savvy: Digital marketing is the pathway to reach and retain this target audience. When it comes to finding and using health care services, millennials rely heavily on digital devices, mobile applications and the Internet – more than any other group. To be available to them, physicians need to be online and easily found on search. This means having an optimized website, business listings and a social media presence. It is also important to go mobile to build lasting relationships with millennials.
  • They rely on Internet information: As they appreciate technology, millennials prefer connected healthcare. They are more likely than other generation to rely on Google to self-diagnose and do their research before seeing a physician. When checking the sites of healthcare providers, they expect information to be digestible and easy to find. When choosing a physician, millennials look to opinions posted on government sites, reports from friends and family, and sites such as Healthgrades, Consumer Reports and Yelp, according to www.healthcaresuccess.com. They use online resources to fix and manage appointments, communicate with the physician’s office, and pay their bills. They are also prepared to share their opinion more easily.
  • They want a better consumer experience: They shop online for health care and physicians as they would for any other product or service. In addition to a value-added experience when navigating their website, a WebMD survey reported that physicians should offer millennials reliable resources that they can access in their own time. They prefer email and text notifications, or push notifications through apps, over phone calls and snail mail. They seek quick and efficient care. According to Executive Insight, they also want a wellness visit that includes discussions about a healthy lifestyle.
  • Portal use: Beckers Hospital Review reports that when using a healthcare portal, millennials check labs (75%), scheduling (39%), refills (35%) and communication (33%). Providers need to utilize patient portals and electronic health records in a way that it benefits both them and the patients.
  • They have no interest in a personal relationship with their physician: Millennials look to convenience rather than an ongoing provider relationship. In a Salesforce survey, almost 50% of millennial respondents said they had no personal relationship with their PCP.
  • Where millennials prefer to get care: This generation is more likely to approach retail clinics, urgent care centers, or emergency rooms for non-emergency care rather than a primary care physician. A RAND Health survey reported that millennials are more likely than older generations to use telemedicine and retail clinics.Physicians Know About Millennial Patient
  • They are cost-conscious: A FAIR Health survey found that people ages 18 to 35 are most likely to check health care costs, comparison shop, and enquire about prices in advance of services. A PNC Healthcare survey of 5,000 consumers reported that 41% said they ask for estimates before receiving medical services. This makes insurance eligibility verification even more important for this generation. Practices should assess their coverage before providing services and provide them with an estimate of costs.
  • They realize the value of health insurance: According to a study conducted by Fit Small Business, 34 percent of millennials regarded the health plan as the most important workplace benefit. A Transamerica Center for Health Studies survey of 1,171 millennials found that only 11 percent of millennials are uninsured. However, they are less informed about the health insurance options available to them than other generations in the workforce. Efforts should be made to bridge this gap.

While serving other generations, healthcare facilities need to tailor their offerings to meet the needs of millennials. Offering options such as telehealth services and leveraging mobile technologies can promote convenient and quick access to care, which is what millennials want. Importantly, physicians should focus on offering medical billing processes that cater to millennials’ needs. Partnering with a technologically advanced medical billing company could be a step in the right direction. The support of an experienced medical billing service provider would ensure efficient revenue cycle management solutions, allowing physicians’ practices to provide patients with timely financial estimates and information about insurance eligibility, while minimizing denials and optimizing revenue. Adopting millennial-friendly healthcare and financial is the key to attracting and retaining this generation of patients.