What do consumers value in health care? They want access to care when they or a family member need it. They want a cost-effective system and relief from pain and anxiety. Consumers perceive access to care as having the most value, but the EY Global Consumer Health Survey 2023 found only 37% of global consumers in the survey said their health system offered good, very good or excellent access to care.
To better understand what consumers value in health care, in early 2023, EY researchers surveyed more than 6,000 consumers across six countries: the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, England and Germany, with the majority having had contact with the health care system in the previous 12 months. Read the full survey highlights report (pdf).
Value in health care is deeply anchored in the responsibilities of providers and payers for overall cost and quality outcomes. Specifically, accounting for whole-of-person care through quality-linked payments, the distribution of risk and tools that drive care coordination, improve quality and financial efficiency.
But to look at value only through the lens of providers and payers leaves the consumer — the most important participant in health care — out of the value equation. We know activated, engaged patients are more likely to comply with their care plans and make behavioral decisions in support of their health.
Overall, the survey respondents believe the responsibility for good health lies with individuals (44%) or is a shared responsibility with their medical providers (43%). One in seven (13%) puts that responsibility with medical experts. Individuals who believe that medical experts are in charge of achieving overall good health tend to have poor or fair health, chronic conditions and are in lower income brackets.
Who’s interacting more with the system?
Fifty-five percent of respondents are more proactive with their health and undertake medical checkups. Those who claim to have good, very good or excellent health (58%) are more likely to have consulted a medical professional in the past 12 months for a routine checkup. In the future, these proactive individuals are more inclined to consider monitoring their health using technologies such as genetic testing (70% vs. 68% overall) or wearable sensors (66% vs. 64% overall).
How are they treated?
Nearly three-quarters (73%) say they are treated with empathy, courtesy and respect, and over two-thirds (69%) say care plans are explained in ways that can be easily understood. Four in five rated the handling of patient privacy as good, very good or excellent.
What drives health system performance from a consumer point of view?
Half of the respondents to the EY Global Consumer Health Survey 2023 say their health care system offers above average performance, while 31% believe their health systems are performing below average.