What You Should Know:
– Hospitals and health systems that launched or accelerated digital health capabilities during the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic are failing to commit fully to the digital and consumer-centered transformation required to deliver care when, where and how consumers want to receive it, according to Kaufman Hall’s 2021 Healthcare Consumerism Survey.
– The survey found only 7% of participating organizations performed in the first tier of the Kaufman Hall Healthcare Consumerism Index, which demonstrates having a dedicated focus and resources for building a consumer-centric infrastructure. The vast majority of institutions surveyed were either in Tier 2, indicating a thoughtful approach to becoming more consumer-centric, investing in infrastructure and initiatives that are being expanded systemwide (46%), or Tier 3, indicating they have begun to target specific consumer-oriented strategies but are not yet building an infrastructure for sustained success (39%). Only 7% of participating organizations landed in Tier 4, indicating they were not working on consumer-oriented strategies vital to meeting evolving needs.
– The Kaufman Hall Healthcare Consumerism Index provides a lens to industry performance related to consumerism, based on survey responses from hospitals and health systems nationwide. More than 110 executives from more than 100 organizations, including community hospitals, health systems, pediatric hospitals, academic medical centers, rehabilitation hospitals, and rural providers, responded to the survey.
Key findings of the survey include:
– Competitive threats from health insurance, retail and technology companies are a growing concern to hospitals and health systems. For example, 76% percent of respondents cited UnitedHealth/Optum as a strong or extreme competitive threat, up from 67% in 2019.
– While 90% of organizations surveyed offer telehealth services and 73% provide walk-in clinics, only 37% offer in-home monitoring and only 22% offer home-based primary care. Experts say many organizations develop new buildings or sites of care without researching consumers’ needs first to determine how to provide services.
– Hospitals’ strategic priorities for consumer-centric care are not always translating to improved capabilities. While 66% of organizations place a high or extreme priority on redesigning and expanding digital capabilities and physical facilities, only 11% are best in class for providing those services, a gap of more than 55%. Similar gaps persist in implementing innovative care models (55%), partnering with outside organizations to redesign care delivery (34%) and developing consumer-focused pricing strategies (39%).
– The outlook for long-term volume at hospitals and health systems in the wake of COVID-19 is mixed. Two-thirds of survey respondents indicated they are somewhat or moderately concerned about volume recovery. Only 12% of respondents are very or extremely concerned about volume recovery.
– The most common pricing transparency offerings for consumers are online price estimators (63%) and online forms for receiving out-of-pocket cost estimates (63%), followed by staff answering price questions in person (49%) and offering out-of-price guarantees for select services (23%).