Doctors to Promote Insurance and Expertise

BY Rachel Cagle
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Kyruus announced findings from its third annual survey of 1,000 health care consumers focused on their decision-​making processes and preferences when it comes to determining where and from whom to obtain care. The findings show that consumers are becoming increasingly self-​empowered when evaluating their care options and that they continue to rank convenience and speed of access highly in their decisions.

A majority of respondents performed online research when looking for a new provider. However, consumer digital search behavior is evolving to rely more heavily on health system web properties. This year, among those who consulted the internet, 43% visited a health system website, up from 38% in 2018. Relatedly, the share of consumers starting their searches on these sites is also rising. Appointment booking preferences stayed consistent with prior years with phone remaining the preferred means across age groups, but losing ground to online booking.

Other notable findings include:

  • Independent research is still the top method for finding primary care providers (PCPs) and rising in specialist searches: The highest share of consumers found PCPs themselves (32%) and, while provider referrals remained the predominant source for specialists, that share declined from 45% to 40% alongside a comparable rise in self-research.
  • Insurance and clinical expertise remain consumers’ top criteria: For the third straight year, the top provider selection criteria were insurance accepted (91% rating extremely/​very important) and clinical expertise (88%), followed by communication skills, hospital/​health system reputation, and appointment availability.
  • Preference for self-​service scheduling is growing: While consumers still prefer to book appointments by phone, there is rising interest in online booking, as one-​third now prefer to schedule online, up from one-​quarter in 2017 — a trend that is particularly pronounced among millennials and Gen Xers.
  • Consumers are looking beyond traditional care settings: Speed and convenience are key drivers of consumer decisions to seek care at alternative sites, such as urgent care and retail clinics (44% and 39% visited in the last year, respectively), and one-​third of respondents would be likely to switch providers for a virtual visit option.

According to AudienceSCAN, Potential Doctor Switchers are influenced by digital advertisements, as well as information they find while conducting online research. Additionally, these consumers are 49% more likely than others to find advertisements on social media networks useful.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. In addition, AdMall contains industry profiles on hospitals, both general medical and surgical and specialty, as well as lead lists at the local level. Media companies, sales reps and agencies can access this data with a subscription to AdMall from SalesFuel.