This week’s sobering news from UnitedHealth serves as a wake-up call to anyone in healthcare services. For better or worse, a consumer-driven health economy has put individual consumers in the driver’s seat when it comes to how, when and with whom they spend their healthcare dollars. They will leave in the hundreds of thousands if they’re not satisfied (315,000 from UnitedHealth, to be exact).
It’s clear that service providers are no longer working with passive ‘patients’ who ‘receive care.’ Instead, the patients are compelled to be active consumers, responsible for investigating their personal healthcare options, arranging their own care as well as that of children and aging parents, understanding what is or isn’t covered by health plans, utilizing HSAs, selecting responsive and responsible service providers, and taking the initiative to follow up with doctors and health plans after appointments. It’s a big, complicated and thankless job. And it’s a world in which patients can and will leave their insurers and select care providers based on service, not on health plan.
Continued at the Health 2.0 Blog