Retail Medicine a Big Shift for 2014

John Commins, January 6, 2014

"That is major," Connolly says. "The consumers just by virtue of the fact that they are spending more of their own money are beginning to take a much harder look at what they get for their healthcare dollars. They're also bringing their expectations from their other shopping experiences to healthcare. So they are saying, if I can do my banking in my pajamas at midnight on my couch why can't I make my doctor's appointment then or why can't I get my lab results on my smartphone? Consumers are starting to demand better pricing or at least transparency in pricing and 'what am I getting for my money?'"

The shift toward retail medicine means that traditional healthcare providers will have to rethink their roles and business models in the new healthcare economy, and perhaps look at how other industries have adapted to fundamental changes in the way they do business, Connolly says.

"This is not going to happen overnight. This is a tough nut to crack, but we have been through this with the banking industry and the travel and hospitality industry so we know the pattern and we can see that when you start getting this consumer pressure, that is when things start shifting," she says.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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