Health Care vs. the Health Care System
In a 2016 NPR poll, 79% of respondents rated the care they personally receive as “good” or “excellent” (Figure 1 of report). At the same time, only 55% rated their state’s health care system as “good” or “excellent”, and only 38% rated the nation’s health care system that way - a full 29% said it was “poor” (Figures 5 and 6 of report).
That is an interesting dichotomy. Over the last decade, there has been a push to provide patient-centered care, but anyone who has dealt with the health care system itself can tell you that the administrative aspect of accessing care and understanding coverage remains very non-patient centered. The NPR article describing the poll’s results (see the link below) quotes a policy expert who claims that the system was designed for the providers, not the patients.
I think there’s no doubt that the next big push in health care reform will be to improve what could loosely called the “patient experience.” As a wide generalization, most millennials demand better work experiences, shopping experiences, and life experiences, but because of their age they typically have little engagement with the health care system. As they grow older and have families, they are going to demand easier access to care, less red tape, and a process that is more convenient and straight-forward. Keep an eye out as providers and insurers begin to incorporate reforms in an attempt to improve the patient experience.