Key findings of the survey include:
- Local networks best serve the needs of today’s health care consumer
o Despite having access to national networks of medical providers, most people have not used a doctor in another state in the past year and are willing to travel only 30 minutes or less to visit their doctor
- There is a discrepancy between how loyal health care consumers feel they are to their primary care doctors, and how loyal they actually are
o Although most people claim to be loyal to their doctors, a substantial number have switched their primary care doctor in the past five years
- Health care consumers don’t want to choose between quality of care and affordability when selecting their health care providers
o People strongly value quality of services, health plan coverage, and cost of services when first choosing a doctor
People Prefer to Get Health Care Locally, and will Switch Providers, Survey Finds
National survey uncovers preferences of today’s health care consumer when selecting and receiving care
New York, NY – December 13, 2017 – Most insured Americans have access to thousands of medical providers across the country—but perhaps unsurprisingly, this broad access mostly goes unused: almost 75 percent of health care consumers have not used a doctor outside their home state in the past year, according to a new national survey released today by Create® powered by Brighton Health Plan Solutions, a leading health care enablement company. As health care premiums continue to rise, the survey calls into question the status quo that forces consumers to pay for health plans that don’t match their needs or preferences.
“This survey uncovers a major gap between consumer preference in selecting and receiving health care, and what today’s big legacy health plans offer,” said Simeon Schindelman, CEO of Brighton Health Plan Solutions. “Having remained static for decades, our health care system simply does not meet the expectations of today’s consumer. People no longer want or use the standard one-size-fits-all health plan—they want local, affordable care tailored to them individually.”
The vast majority of individuals already solely utilize local health care networks. In addition to staying in-state, the survey reveals that more than half of consumers (55 percent) are willing to travel only 30 minutes or less to visit their primary care doctors. Only one-third (34 percent) have received care from more than one health system, a network of affiliated providers. Staying within one health system, and consistently receiving care from an integrated set of doctors, results in more personalized, higher-quality care, since patient health information can easily be shared between providers within that system. Yet, traditional carriers do not succeed in helping people build long-term, loyal relationships with their doctors.
The survey also importantly uncovers a somewhat tenuous relationship between doctor and patient. The findings reveal discrepancies between how loyal patients feel they are to their doctors, and how loyal they actually are. Almost three in four respondents (73 percent) report feeling loyal to their primary care doctors, and the majority feel more loyal to their doctors than to other service providers including the person who cuts their hair, their vet, and their babysitter. However, despite these findings, respondents are more likely to recommend their favorite TV show than they are to recommend their primary care doctor, and nearly one in four respondents (23 percent) have switched their primary care doctor more than once in the past five years—indicating a surprisingly high turnover rate between doctors and the patients who claim to be loyal to them.
When selecting their health care, individuals expectedly want quality care at an affordable price—a prevalent challenge with today’s rising health care costs. When first choosing a doctor, 86 percent of respondents rate quality of services as the most important factor, followed closely by health plan coverage (85 percent) and cost of services (75 percent). In terms of traits in a doctor, quality of care provided is viewed as being most important by the vast majority of respondents (87 percent), with cost of care considered important by more than four in five (81 percent).
“The findings of this survey support the need for local, integrated health care systems that create a mutually committed relationship between doctor and patient—a stark contrast to the current system, which prioritizes a fragmented, national network of health care providers,” said Schindelman. “Consumers are taking their own steps to make their care more localized and personalized, but they aren’t reaping the cost and quality benefits of such a network model. This was why we launched our latest innovative product, Create—a first-of-its-kind marketplace of health care systems that allows individuals and their families to select a high performing health system from which to receive all of their care. This model immediately reduces health care costs, increases care quality, and strengthens doctor-patient relationships—a win-win for everyone.”
This national survey, conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of Brighton Health Plan Solutions, polled more than 2,200 Americans in November 2017.
About Brighton Health Plan Solutions
Headquartered in New York City, Brighton Health Plan Solutions (BHPS) is an innovative health care enablement company with several industry-leading brands, including Create, MagnaCare, and Brighton Casualty Solutions – all on a mission to deliver better health care at lower cost. We believe aligning the interests of our partners through exceptional health care products and services will fundamentally transform how health care is accessed and delivered.
BHPS, a division of Brighton Health Group, serves commercial and labor plan sponsors, health plans, health care providers, and other stakeholders.