How Can You Meet Healthcare Expectations of Millennials?

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

It’s true that meeting the health needs of individuals across generations is partly about age-related clinical factors. But there’s much more to consider. Addressing generation-specific attitudes, concerns, and preferences regarding healthcare, as well as individual non-clinical factors that impact health, is integral to member engagement and better outcomes.

Here, we explore how organizations can improve delivery of personalized, value-based care at scale for Millennial health populations.

What Makes Millennials Unique When It Comes to Healthcare?

Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials came of age during digital transformation. For this generation, smartphones, social media, and other revolutionary technology is the norm.

As a result, Millennials expect digital options for healthcare interactions and easy access to healthcare records. Millennials also want healthcare to be as easy and customer-focused as the modern-day consumer experience has become.

Here are some key considerations that influence how and why Millennials seek healthcare:

  • Affordable, quality care for children
  • Comparison tools and multiple healthcare options
  • Easy access to information and personal data
  • Affordability and accessibility of quality care

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

Now, let’s dive a little deeper into the healthcare perspectives, preferences, and strategies that work for Millennials.

Millennials Value Virtual Accessibility, Convenience, and Credibility

Compared to previous generations, Millennials are more likely to prefer online interactions with healthcare professionals. They also value digital tools that promote accessibility and convenience:

According to Becker’s Hospital Review, 71% of millennials prefer scheduling appointments through an app and would like to receive automated appointment reminders. Meanwhile, 60% want the option for virtual visits.

They also often rely on insight from friends and family when it comes to healthcare decisions. And, of course, Millennials leverage online sources like social media, podcasts, and online health and wellness influencers to research options.

Care management implications: Payers should invest in technology that facilitates virtual appointments and provides a digital portal for easy member access to health information, records, and communication with healthcare professionals.

Many Millennials Do Not Prioritize Preventive Care

According to Zocdoc, 51% of Millennials visit the doctor less than once a year.

Another study found that 43% of Millennials say they ignore health issues – with 33% percent reporting they ignored their issue for more than a year. Cost and convenience are cited as common reasons for delaying preventive care.

Care management implications: Help members navigate the high cost and inconvenience related to healthcare access, and check in frequently to make sure Millennial members follow through on preventive care screenings and appointments.

Just Over Half of Millennials Have a Chronic Condition

Despite their younger age, Millennials are affected by chronic disease.

54% of Millennials have at least one chronic condition, and 22% have two or more, reports Franciscan Health. Conditions most commonly seen include depression, substance abuse, hypertension, high cholesterol, alcohol and tobacco use, and Type 2 diabetes. They’re also at increased risk of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

Care management implications: Be alert to signs that a chronic illness is present, or that a member is at risk for developing a chronic condition, and try to interact frequently with members with chronic conditions to educate, motivate, celebrate health milestones, and provide encouragement.

Millennial-Age Parents Face Significant SDOH Challenges

The high cost of raising children – including prohibitive childcare expenses – is a major source of anxiety among Millennial parents. Especially in lower-income households, this can have a chilling effect on prioritizing health.

Care management implications: Build trust to learn whether parents are struggling with challenges related to social determinants of health (SDOH) that are preventing access to care for their dependents. (For example, do they lack transportation to get their children to appointments? Are co-pays an issue?) Also, look to connect members to community resources that can help meet SDOH needs such as food pantries, transportation services, and counseling services.

Tech-Driven Strategies to Improve Care Management for Millennials

Delivering on Millennial healthcare preferences – convenience, efficient access, and digital options – hinges on a connected, data-driven approach to care management.

A medical management platform with automations and digital tools to support virtual learning and interactions can strengthen engagement and outcomes for Millennial health populations.

Here are some features to look for when evaluating this type of technology.

Strong telehealth capabilities. Virtual appointments are a key piece of meeting Millennials’ needs. Since they expect healthcare to mirror the modern consumer experience, it’s important that telehealth options are seamless. That means access to professionals within a few intuitive clicks – no additional software to download or extra steps like excessive logins or registrations.

In-platform health education. Digital access to health education is key to engaging and motivating Millennials, who like to do their own research on diagnoses and treatments – but who tend to put off seeking regular care. Platforms with an integrated health education content library empower care managers to quickly provide targeted content tailored to goals and health literacy levels that can encourage proactive involvement.

Digital portal for communication. Millennials are accustomed to instant communication. Built-in tools like text message/SMS, email, and video chat can help care managers reach this population where they are, allowing them to stay on top of emerging health concerns and deepen trust and engagement.

Ability to track SDOH data: Intelligent workflows empower organizations to identify Millennial members facing SDOH-related challenges. A platform that integrates with community resources like transportation, food pantries, counseling, and housing support organizations can help care managers provide members with real solutions so they can focus on their health.

Automation to elevate preventive care: With built-in assessments and screenings that auto-populate care plans, workflows, and tasks, care managers can help members be more proactive about preventive care. Intelligent workflows can flag physical and behavioral health issues for care managers to address before they pose the risk of worsened health outcomes and increased utilization costs.

Learn more about personalizing value-based care for Millennials – and other generations you serve. Download Personalized Value-Based Care: Effective Multi-Generational Care Management Strategies.

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