Millennials Prefer Walk-in Clinics and Telemedicine

Millennials Prefer Walk-in Clinics and Telemedicine

Millennials are changing everything about how we do and how we think, and their choices will challenge medical coding and billing dramatically, as revealed in a recent survey by EBRI Research. Here are some of the findings:

  • Millennials have the highest rates of wellness program participation. According to the study, Millennials are nearly across the board more likely than Baby Boomers to participate in various aspects of wellness program. They report they’ve visited an on-site clinic, quit tobacco, participated in stress management training and wellness challenges, been reimbursed for fitness club membership, attended seminars, and received financial wellness benefits.  However, they are less likely than Baby Booms to have completed a health risk assessment or biometric screenings.
  • Millennials and Generation X interact with healthcare providers differently than Baby Boomers. EBRI’s study indicates that Baby Boomers are more likely than their younger peers to have a primary care provider (PCP). Baby Boomers report they are more likely than Millennials and Generation X to make healthier lifestyle choices after seeing their PCPs. Baby Boomers report that it’s important that their PCPs know them and their medical histories, that the PCP aware of all other healthcare they receive, and that they are comfortable telling their PCP about their health.
  • Millennials are more satisfied than other generational cohorts with various aspects of the their health coverage.

What Does the Millennials Action Mean?

What does this mean for your clinic and you?  The survey suggests that Millennials don’t feel as compelled to visit a traditional physician clinic as their parents. They will, however, take advantage of walk-in clinics and telehealth. Here are some results:

  • Both Millennials and Gen Xers are more likely than Baby Boomers to report that they have used a walk-in clinic. Only 14 percent of Baby Boomers report that they have used a walk-in clinic, compared with 18 percent among Gen Xers and 30 percent among Millennials.
  • Eighty-five percent of Baby Boomers have a PCP, compared with 78 percent among Gen Xers and 67 percent among Millennials.
  • Millennials are more likely than Baby Boomers and Gen Xers to get engaged in researching health care options. For example, Millennials are more likely than the other generational cohorts to report that they found cost information; checked whether a health plan would cover care or medication; checked the quality rating of a doctor or hospital before receiving care; talked to a doctor about prescription options and costs; talked to a doctor about treatment options and costs; tried to find the cost of health care services before getting care; developed a budget to manage health care expenses; and used an online cost tracking tool provided by a health plan to manage expenses.
  • Millennials are the most likely group to request a brand name instead of a generic. This finding may seem counter intuitive, though there are some possible explanations for it. One explanation may be that Millennials may be more likely to state a preference than the other age groups.2 Another explanation may be that Millennials are unaware that generic drugs are bioequivalent to brand name drugs.
  • Millennials and Gen Xers are more likely than Baby Boomers to report that they are interested in investing some of the money in their Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds (Figure 11). They are also more likely to report that they are interested in automatic investment features for unused HSA funds. Gen Xers are more likely than Baby Boomers to say that having an HSA has empowered them to make better health care and financial decisions.
  • Millennials are more likely to report that they engage in healthy behaviors than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. More specifically, they are more likely to say that they regularly exercise (Figure 12) and they are more likely to report that they have a normal weight.
  • However, Millennials are also more likely than Baby Boomers or Gen Xers to report that they smoke cigarettes.
  • Millennials are more likely than Baby Boomers and Gen Xers to get engaged in researching health care options. For example, Millennials are more likely than the other generational cohorts to report that they found cost information; checked whether a health plan would cover care or medication; checked the quality rating of a doctor or hospital before receiving care; talked to a doctor about prescription options and costs; talked to a doctor about treatment options and costs; tried to find the cost of health care services before getting care; developed a budget to manage health care expenses; and used an online cost tracking tool provided by a health plan to manage expenses.
  • Millennials and Gen Xers are more likely than Baby Boomers to report that they are interested in investing some of the money in their Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds (Figure 11). They are also more likely to report that they are interested in automatic investment features for unused HSA funds. Gen Xers are more likely than Baby Boomers to say that having an HSA has empowered them to make better health care and financial decisions.

How Millennials Affect Coding

Will this affect you directly? Yes, as organizations like Aetna and CVS join to provide more retail-based care, and as more healthcare systems like the Veteran’s Administration, Intermountain Health Care, and others expand their telehealth services, new codes, guidelines, and documentation needs will evolve. Keep up with the changes.

 

Brad Ericson

Brad Ericson

Director of Publishing at AAPC
Brad Ericson, MPC, CPC, COSC, has been director of publishing for more than 10 years. Before AAPC he was at Optum for 13 years and Aetna Health Plans prior to that. He has been writing and publishing about healthcare since 1979. He received his Bachelor's in Journalism from Idaho State University and his Master's of Professional Communication degree from Westminster College of Salt Lake City.
Brad Ericson

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About Has 292 Posts

Brad Ericson, MPC, CPC, COSC, has been director of publishing for more than 10 years. Before AAPC he was at Optum for 13 years and Aetna Health Plans prior to that. He has been writing and publishing about healthcare since 1979. He received his Bachelor's in Journalism from Idaho State University and his Master's of Professional Communication degree from Westminster College of Salt Lake City.

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