To continue deeper into the intersection of health, wellness, and technology theme – we’re going to discuss opportunities around the cost-conscious patient. Much like eBay and Amazon brought efficiency to the traditional goods marketplace, we’re going to see a great push to make healthcare products and services cheaper through better efficiency and visibility into pricing and options.
A recent Kaiser Family Foundation report found that 30 percent of Americans have had trouble paying medical bills in the past 12 months. Even worse, the same survey reports that 52 percent of those surveyed reported that the amount they paid for their families healthcare and coverage has increased over the last year. Just under 25 percent reported that their healthcare costs had “gone up a lot.”
Beyond public outcry for help, this has driven a large portion of Americans to healthcare self-rationing: with 40 percent of people in fair or poor health did not fill a prescription in the past year due to cost.
This same sentiment was echoed in a March 2010 Harris Interactive Healthday study in which 71 percent of Americans said were worried about rising healthcare costs. However, even more telling may be people’s perception of who’s to blame for rising healthcare costs, with over 60 percent of Americans blaming healthcare costs on the profits of insurance and prescription drug companies and 50 percent of Americans blaming hospital costs. Only 18 percent of Americans point to their own use of medical services as a prime cost of their healthcare bill.
This data points to a system where health stakeholders need to get more patient-centric, working to truly focus on designing services and products around health citizens’ demands and requirements, and enabling consumers to take charge of their healthcare decisions.