Healthcare Providers: Are you Millennial-ready?

Updated: Feb 18

Healthcare consumers are in charge! They have become the driving force for the standard of care offered by healthcare providers. Consumers are becoming more involved in their healthcare decisions. The doctor's word is no longer final. Patients are increasingly seeking second, third and even fourth opinions. Consumers have also become more tech-savvy and are very well-versed in the different tools available for shopping around and influencing the quality of services offered by healthcare providers.

Rating sites such as Healthgrades have become the place to check out providers before even considering booking an appointment. Ratings are very frequently used to promote and reward high-performing providers. They are also a powerful tool for exposing and taking down poor performers. This trend is only going to increase as America's Millennial population continues to soar. America's healthcare providers need to come to terms with America's fast-changing population and the demands that come with providing their healthcare needs.

Millennials are about to change the healthcare landscape

The six living generations in America describes the living generations in the U.S. and their unique attributes that differentiate them from each other. The six generations are:

  • The GI generation, born 1901 to 1926

  • The Mature or Silent, born 1927 to 1945

  • The baby boomers, born 1945 to 1964

  • Generation X, born 1965 to 1980

  • Generation Y or the Millennials, born 1981 to 2000

  • Generation Z or Boomlets, born after 2001

According to a Pew Research report published in 2018, "As of July 1, 2016 (the latest date for which population estimates are available), Millennials, whom we define as ages 20 to 35 in 2016, numbered 71 million, and Boomers (Ages 52 to 70) numbered 74 million." It is estimated that Millennials will overtake Boomers in population in 2019 with their numbers reaching 73 million and Boomers declining to 72 million. Generation X (ages 36 to 51 in 2016) is projected to outnumber the Boomers by 2028.

While the Millennial population continues to grow with increasing number of young immigrants, Boomers are aging and dying at a rate that exceeds the number of older immigrants. This means Millennials are about to become the largest population in America! With this change comes a shift in the healthcare landscape and Healthcare providers have to take notice and adjust accordingly.

Millennials are different from generations before them. They demand instant gratification and will not hesitate to move on to the next healthcare provider if they are not satisfied with the service being offered. Unlike generations before them who value patient-physician relationships, Millennials are not loyal and expect the same perks and conveniences that other service providers such as Cell phone companies entice them with. Providers will need to continuously find creative ways to attract, engage and retain Millennials to their practice or face declining patient population.