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Providers Lag as Healthcare Consumers Set Agenda

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 15, 2014

New players in healthcare are gaining a toehold with frustrated consumers who are "ready to abandon traditional care models for ones that echo experiences in banking, retail and entertainment," research from PwC's Health Research Institute indicates.


Wasden


Chris Wasden
Managing Director and Global Healthcare Innovation Leader at PwC

Healthcare consumers appear willing to dump the doctor's office for cheaper and more convenient retail and remote alternatives that could amount to tens of billions of dollars in lost revenues for traditional providers if they fail to adapt, according to a report from PwC's Health Research Institute.

Despite controlling nearly 20% of the economy, traditional healthcare is years if not decades behind other industries when it comes to adopting a business model and technologies that assess and meet consumer needs.

With traditional players dragging their feet, consumers are taking the lead with increasing demands for pricing transparency, extended office hours, telemedicine and other and other innovative and consumer-friendly uses of technology that other sectors of the economy have used for years.

New players in healthcare are gaining a toehold with frustrated consumers who are "ready to abandon traditional care models for ones that echo experiences in banking, retail and entertainment," PwC says.


Retail Medicine Syncs with High-Deductible Health Plans


Chris Wasden, a managing director and global healthcare innovation leader at PwC, spoke with HealthLeaders Media about his company's report and what its findings mean for traditional providers. The following is an edited transcript.

HLM: How is the role of the consumer changing the way care is delivered?

CW: Increasingly, consumers are really forcing providers to try new things because providers are not going try new things on their own. [This is] because providers think the old way is just fine and they don't know how to do it a new way and they don't want to figure out how to do it a new way.

So it's the consumers who are saying 'I am going to be an early adopter and try something new.' That is putting pressure on the physicians to try something new. So this is going to be consumer-driven and led, not physician-driven and led.

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2 comments on "Providers Lag as Consumers Set Agenda"


jim Cullen (4/27/2014 at 11:40 AM)
Excellent article. Let us all embrace consumer directed health care. It is the only thing that can save us from a government run system which is the anathema of our free market system. Price transparency, patient portals, providers who put the customer first are key ingredients of a feasible consumer directed system. We need the current providers to grasp these concepts and move to fully implement them.

pete.kelley (4/15/2014 at 8:10 PM)
Americans will have to have a serious discussion about medical liability reform, if the "retail healthcare" model comes to pass. If the "doctor" diagnoses and treats the rash based upon a smartphone picture, but the patient doesn't notice and mention the lymphadenopathy, is the doctor liable for not diagnosing the patient's lymphoma?