How Can You Deliver Value-Based Care that Engages Generation X?

This post is the third in a five-part series highlighting top insights from our white paper, Personalized Value-Based Care: Effective Multi-Generational Care Management Strategies.

Addressing generation-specific attitudes, concerns, and preferences regarding healthcare, as well as individual non-clinical factors that impact health, is integral to driving member engagement and better outcomes.

Here, we explore how organizations can improve delivery of personalized, value-based care at scale for health care payers managing populations with Generation X members. These are the health plan members either on a commercial employer health plan or aging into Medicare.

At a Glance: Top Health Concerns of Generation X

Here are some key considerations that influence why Gen Xers seek healthcare:

  • Stress and depression
  • Diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer
  • Alcohol and tobacco use
  • Substance use disorders

Gen Xers have other specific factors that influence the way payers, providers, and care management teams should approach their care.

What Makes Gen Xers Unique When It Comes to Healthcare?

Generation X is today’s “sandwich generation.” A majority are caregivers who are invested in finding high-quality healthcare for themselves as well as for their children and often for parents, grandparents, or other older relatives. They were born between 1965 and 1980, a time of rapid technological innovation and social change.

Here’s an overview of Gen X characteristics and preferences regarding healthcare, and implications for care management teams and providers.

Convenience of Health Care is a High Priority

Because this generation is in a stage of life where they’re juggling full-time work as well as caring for children and possibly older family members, Gen Xers value convenience. They want high-quality care and flexibility when it comes to making appointments.

Care management implications:

  • Offer a mix of in-person and telehealth options and help Gen X members find providers with evening and weekend availability
  • Communicate via their preferred channel (e.g., text, email, phone call)

Many Gen X Members Could Benefit from Behavioral Health Services

This also stems from the stress of being a sandwich generation. The pandemic also intensified mental health issues for Generation X: 21 percent of Gen Xers report that their mental health was worse in 2020 than in 2019, according to a Statista survey.

Care management implications:

  • Identify members who may be at risk of mental health issues, such as being caregivers for multiple generations or other social determinants of health (SDOH)
  • Be alert for physical signs of high stress or depression such as chronic pain or fatigue
  • Connect members with behavioral health professionals who can support mental health needs

Gen Xers Can Be Healthcare Skeptics and Seek Information Themselves

Nearly 50% of Gen Xers are skeptical of what doctors say, a 48% increase over Baby Boomers, according to data from SPM reported here.

Because they came of age in a time of technological and social change, Gen Xers like to do their own research and think independently when it comes to making healthcare decisions. They’ll often consult social media, news outlets, and online resources when choosing a provider or researching recommended treatment.

Care management implications:

  • Provide tailored educational resources to help Gen Xers learn about diagnoses and treatment plans, both for themselves and others they care for
  • Support them in finding providers they trust

Many Gen Xers Have At Least One Chronic Condition

Three-fifths of Gen Xers have one or more chronic conditions, research shows. Chronic conditions and concerns common among Generation X include:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Mental health problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer

Care management implications:

  • Engage Gen X members in preventive healthcare and encourage them to proactively get screened (e.g., mammograms, colonoscopies, prostate screenings)
  • Provide education on healthy lifestyle choices and ensure they understand their medications
  • Maintain transparent communication with specialists and providers involved in managing a Gen X member’s chronic disease

Get the full list in our white paper, Personalized Value-Based Care: Effective Multigenerational Care Management Strategies. Download your copy now >

Tech-Driven Care Management Strategies for Generation X

To deliver whole-person care focused on optimal outcomes for this busy population, care management teams need to work efficiently and collaboratively.

A medical management platform that centralizes member data, automates administrative tasks, and surfaces educational and community resources lets care managers:

  • Have more time to focus on personal engagement with Gen X members
  • Connect Gen Xers with available resources to support non-clinical health needs
  • Help Gen X members access a range of providers with flexible schedules
  • Gain insight into a Gen X member’s entire picture of health

To deliver an experience tailored to generational needs and preferences, health plans should look for a platform that includes these key capabilities:

Built-in suite of member engagement and communication tools. Remember, Gen Xers often prioritize the health of others over their own. They also value doing their own research. Make it as easy as possible to access health education resources, schedule appointments, and communicate with care managers to engage them in their health. Look for built-in education resources, secure texting capabilities, and telemedicine integrations.

A complete data ecosystem for a 360° view of each patient. When patient data is centralized in one place, it’s easier for everyone involved – the care management team, specialists, the utilization management team – to stay centered on that person. Having all a patient’s history and information right at the fingertips of key stakeholders leads to tighter care coordination, faster intervention, and a better chance of positive health outcomes.

Behavioral health integrations. With care pathways enabling faster identification of members who need behavioral healthcare, care managers can more confidently advise Gen Xers on seeking mental health therapy. Integrations with behavioral health services – including telehealth options – is key to serving the convenience Gen Xers need to follow through on recommendations.

Automations that streamline internal and external processes. Automation frees care managers from manual tasks like repetitive data entry or sifting through notes and charts to find critical information. With the time gained back, they can focus on building trust with members. Meanwhile, automating appointment reminders and prescription refills makes it easier for busy Gen Xers to actively participate in their health.

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