Project Management

Health Care Consumerism: Opportunities And Challenges For Health Plans

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Executive Summary

The 2009 Survey of Health Care Consumers conducted by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions offers health care industry leaders and policy makers a comprehensive view of the different ways that consumers approach health, health care, health insurance and health policy. The findings provide a timely look at how health care consumerism is evolving in America. The study's framework reflects a broad-based view of consumerism in six zones. Wellness and healthy living, including self-care and health management, Information sources helpful in consumer decision making, Traditional health services provided by medical professionals, hospitals and retail clinics, as well as prescription medications and medical devices, Alternative health services, sometimes referred to as complementary or holistic medicine, Insurance coverage and other financial considerations, Health policy, including perspectives regarding the health care system and health reform. Over half (54%) of U.S. consumers say they put effort into learning more about their personal health risks, but fewer than half are actively pursuing healthier behaviors: 44% are focusing on eating a healthy diet, 39% are putting effort into managing weight, 35% are exercising, and 19% are participating in a wellness or healthy living program. Nearly 6 in 10 consumers (57%) sought information online about treatment options or a particular treatment in the last year. (The rate was higher - 68% - among consumers with chronic conditions.)Recognizing the evolving nature of consumerism in health care is becoming an increasingly important component of effective business strategies and health care reform.

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