Millennial Healthcare Consumers Part 1: Utilizing Retail Clinics
It comes as no real surprise: millennial consumer habits differ from those of their parents. With over 53 million millennials now in the workforce, the generation represents a third of American workers.
As such a substantial group, Millennials hold considerable spending power in healthcare. Their interactions here matter: Millennial needs and demands will help drive innovation and shape the future of the industry. While the implication of a more consumer-friendly healthcare space is a bolstering thought, change in healthcare can be slow. The challenge is to save real dollars, now. And that starts with embracing what makes Millennials such unique consumers.
In the next few weeks, we’ll discuss Millennial trends in healthcare and practical ways to fully actualize this behavior to save on out-of-pocket healthcare costs.
An Alternative to Your Primary Care Physician
Millennials’ interactions, or sometimes the lack there of, with the healthcare space is an opportunity to look for a better fitting alternative. Consider:
As a younger generation, Millennials are healthy for the most part. As a result, medical care can be infrequent.
A 2015 Salesforce report shows that 50% of the millennial age group don’t have a relationship with their Primary Care Physician.
And, surveyed Millennials have expressed a willingness to see a nurse practitioner in lieu of doctors.
Millennials value efficiency and affordability.
So, when acute medical care is needed, a viable alternative that matches many of these traits is the decision to visit a retail clinic instead of a primary care physician.
Retail Clinic Advantages
Retail clinics like Minute Clinic (CVS) or Walgreens Healthcare Clinics check a lot of boxes for millennial patients. Quick and offering transparent pricing, retail locations are not a complete replacement for primary care physicians but do offer an alternative option and can serve as supplemental care.
Between 2006 and 2014, the number of retail clinics grew by 900%! The boom is a direct result of demand. So what’s the big deal?
No Appointment Necessary
In fact, many retail clinics don’t even offer that option. It’s a first come, first serve basis. Show up, sign in and wait for your turn to be seen. If you’re dealing with a pesky cold and need an infection tended to, this can be a quicker turnaround than trying to make an appointment at your doctor’s.
Nurse Practitioner to Assess Your Acute Healthcare Needs
Retail clinics are set up to diagnose and treat simple, acute medical conditions, like ear infections or a cough. And many offer vaccinations.
Pricing information, without a service like HooPayz, is difficult to come by. Retail clinics offer a “menu” of services and labs and their prices. You know upfront what the charge is because you will pay in office for at least a portion.
Depending on your health plan, your retail clinic visit might be covered! Just like primary care physicians, retail clinics work with certain insurance companies. Check online or call ahead to determine if your health coverage is accepted at a specific location.
Tips for Your Visit to a Retail Clinic
If a retail clinic fits the bill, make sure to keep the following in mind:
Have your insurance card ready. Remember, stay in-network and have that card handy when the provider is ready to update your files.
Plan your timing. If the clinic is first come, first serve, be prepared to wait a bit to be seen.
You’re responsible for your continuity of care. Retail clinics keep detailed medical records of your visits and this is especially useful if you come back. Even if you visit another location of the chain, the provider will have access to your files. While most clinics will send these files to your Primary Care Physician upon request, sometimes the systems are not compatible. Ask for a hard copy and the next time you visit your doctor, hand it over so they can update your medical records.
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