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The Impact of Millennials on Your Healthcare System's Revenue Cycle

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As the largest living generation with over 75 million Americans, millennials (ages 18-34) are making their mark on not only the workplace but the healthcare revenue cycle too.

How millennials interact within the healthcare industry is significantly different than previous generations. Differences range from the way they want to receive care (urgent care vs. primary care), communicate with healthcare organizations (email, text, or phone), schedule appointments (app vs. over the phone), and make payments (online vs. in-person). 

Top 3 Millennials Expectations Impacting Your Revenue Cycle

Retail Care Preferred Among Millennials 

Millennials are shifting away from the delivery method of primary care to retail care. A majority of millennials have no personal relationship with their primary care physicians. Millennials tend to seek medical care from clinics where they can walk-in and be seen by a qualified medical professional the same day. Healthcare systems who recognize the growing needs of the millennial generation will provide more options in acute care clinics and telehealth. 

It's All About On-Demand Convenience

Convenience is the driving force for millennials–accustomed to consumer experiences from Amazon and Uber–the healthcare industry is expected to be readily accessible, cost-effective, and personalized. According to a joint survey from Salesforce and Harris Poll, 71 percent of millennial patients would like to have their providers use mobile apps to book appointments, share health data, and manage preventive care. The healthcare industry is moving in the digital direction, some healthcare organizations allow patients to book appointments, review test results, and pay bills online through a secure website. Increasing convenience for all patients, not just for millennials can positively impact your revenue cycle by receiving payments faster and using fewer resources.

Most Cost-Conscious Generation Ever

Expanded coverage under the Affordable Care Act, increased premiums, and the rising out-of-pocket costs of healthcare propelled millennials into the most cost-conscious consumer of healthcare. Millennials are the most likely to ask for a discount, price check, ask for cheaper treatment alternatives, and use social media for healthcare provider recommendations. Cost-conscious millennials directly impact patient volumes hitting your revenue cycle hard from delaying or refusing care, price shopping for best care with the lowest cost, and rely on their social networks for referrals. 

  • Millennials delaying and/or refusing to seek care reduces your overall patient volume.

  • Price checks and asking for cheaper treatment options ultimately affects your incoming revenue.

  • Underestimating the power of social media can hurt your healthcare system's brand. Millennials use their social network to share their patient experience, good or bad, it's available at their fingertips.

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Healthcare organizations who optimize their revenue cycle by adapting to new technology, master the on-demand digital channels, and delivery of care options will retain more millennial patients thus impacting their financial profitability. One healthcare system embracing millennials expectations is Tahoe Forest Health Systems whose cancer center uses virtual tools "almost daily" to communicate with clinicians at the University of California, Davis.

Healthcare systems who wait or worse fail to change to attract and retain millennial patients will suffer. Price transparency, online appointment booking, telehealth, and on-demand access to care are areas of growth for any healthcare organization wanting to increase their competitive advantage.