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More Than 40% of Consumers Would Switch Providers Over Poor Digital Experience

Analysis  |  By Jack O'Brien  
   October 11, 2019

More than half of consumers have used online reviews for choosing a provider, according to a new study.

Forty one percent of consumers said they would switch providers over a poor digital experience, according to a Cedar study released Wednesday.

Difficulties with online bill pay, scheduling appointments and mobile bill delivery were listed as some of the primary challenges facing consumers, with about 20% reporting that they have already switched providers.

Similarly, more than half of consumers have used online review sites to choose a provider, another testament to the pronounced role consumerism has played in healthcare in recent years.

The study is also the latest in a line of surveys and reports on the importance of recognizing challenges faced by healthcare consumers and the willingness by many to look around for more accessible or affordable options. 

Related: Price Shopping is Influencing Healthcare Choices

"While technology has rapidly innovated how we treat patients on the clinical side, administrative processes have yet to catch up," Florian Otto, CEO of Cedar, said in a statement. "Modern consumers — armed with new levels of data, treatment options and heightened expectations — now demand more and the industry must rise to the challenge." 

Related: Almost 70% of Provider Execs List Consumer Experience as Top Priority

While provider executives will examine the overall results, the responses from younger consumers, those between the ages of 18 to 24, is a notable segment of the report.

More than 60% of young consumers stated that they would switch providers over a poor digital experience and 30% have already made the switch.

Additionally, young consumers are almost twice as likely to have a bill go to collections compared to older consumers. 

Related: Nearly 75% of Consumers Would Change Pharmacies for Savings

The study offers recommendations for providers to enhance the digital experience for consumers, with a keen focus on patient-friendly payment plans and price transparency measures.

More than 80% of consumers called on providers to offer flexible payment options for large bills, more than half requested out-of-pocket cost estimates, and 50% asked for "understandable bill explanations."

Other recommendations included consolidated bill statements, improved customer support, and digital payment options.

Jack O'Brien is the Content Team Lead and Finance Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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