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Customer Experience and Design

A New Year and top healthcare industry trends in 2012

Forecasting industry trends is a common theme at the beginning of a new year. PwC’s Health Research Institute recently polled 1,000 adult consumers and highlighted interesting findings for 2012.

Some of the key trends noted in this survey were:

  • 52% of consumers surveyed said they would be interested in an insurance plan that covered effective treatments at little cost to them but charged higher prices for new treatments with unproven benefit.
  • Nearly 75% of the respondents indicated a preference for healthcare organizations that encompass a wide range of health related activities and services. Consumers see integration as a boon to quality and cost.
  • 60% said they would be comfortable having their health data shared among healthcare organizations if doing so would improve coordination of their care. However, clear privacy and security policies were noted as a differentiator being the top reason cited by consumers (30%) as the reason they would choose one hospital over another (with cost, quality and access equal).
  • Consumers agree that healthcare is a prime election issue: It ranked equally (52% of respondents ranked healthcare either first, second, or third) with the national deficit as the second most pressing election issue after job creation.
  • Nearly half (46%) of consumers say they have deferred care at least once this past year because of how much that care cost.
  • 61% of consumers agree that pharmaceutical and biomedical research is an important engine for economic growth in the US. And 75% of consumers think that clinical trials should be conducted in the United States even though that might mean longer approval time and higher priced drugs.
  • One-third of consumers (34%) reported they would have a less favorable impression of a health insurance company that decided not to participate in its state’s health insurance exchange.
  • Nearly a third (32%) of consumers has used some form of social media (Facebook, YouTube, blogs, etc.) for healthcare purposes.

As this election year progresses, these and other emerging trends, opportunities and challenges facing the health care industry are certain to keep a sharp focus in this area.

What thoughts do you have on the above statistics? Do you agree with many of the opinions?

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Susan Clark

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