Impacts of Online Health Care Ads and Value-​Based Payment

BY Kathy Crosett
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We’ve all been there: Accessing the internet to figure out whether the rash we or one of our loved ones suddenly broke out in is from a tick bite or poison ivy. American consumers’ increasing use of online resources to access medical information is an advertising opportunity for your clients, especially if they are offering value-​based payment models. Here’s how online ads are influencing consumers who want to know the latest on important medical topics via the internet.

Kantar Media’s 2018 MARS Consumer Health Study focused on U.S. adults’ attitude about medical information they find online. In the past three years, the number of consumers accessing the internet for health-​related information has skyrocketed, increasing from 71% to 80%. In addition, nearly 23 million adults are accessing this kind of medical information through their smartphones. Consumers participating in Kantar Media's survey reported spending at least three hours every single day with digital media. Of those three hours, about half is devoted to mobile device usage.

Diagnostics Searches

Receiving an official diagnosis from a medical professional is often what drives consumers to begin online research. Whether it’s a major and permanent condition such as diabetes or simply a case of strep throat, consumers want more information on their health conditions. To get this information, they look at the following sources:

  • Health information website 68%
  • Search engine results 66%
  • Website dedicated to specific medical condition 59%
  • Online support groups/​social networks 42%

Consumers are also noticing health and wellness ads online, as well as on traditional media. They also take action after watching ads they see on:

  • Mobile devices 60%
  • Internet 55%
  • TV 42%

For purposes of the Kantar Media study, taking action included the start of an online search (24%), refilling a prescription (17%), or buying and taking medication (14%.)

Value-​Based Payment Models

Value-​based payment options are also a key area of interest for health care consumers. According to AAFP, value-​based payments are, "A concept by which purchasers of health care and payers hold the health care delivery system at large accountable for both quality and cost of care." This is accomplished through pay-​for-​performance or alternative payment models that tie compensation to specific measures of performance. Value-​based payment criteria could bring down the cost of insurance, saving consumers more money than the traditional payment standards.

These survey findings are in line with the data on diabetic adults reported by AudienceSCAN found at AdMall from SalesFuel. According to that study, at least 61% of diabetic adults have taken action as a result of a TV ad they’ve seen in the past year. And nearly 50% have taken action after noticed a sponsored search result.

The Kantar Media study serves as an important reminder for health care advertisers. Consumers are looking for information online. When they see online ads for related products and services, they’ll start making calls, asking questions and ultimately, making purchases.