Ray Foxworth, D.C., FICC, MCS-P

Born between 1981 and 1996, the tech-savvy Millennial generation of 75 million is about to overtake baby boomers as America’s largest age demographic (Evans, 2018). As business owners, it is important to know what they think when it comes to making health care decisions. Are we making an effort to encourage them to choose chiropractic, or are we inadvertently pushing them away?

It’s important to remember that 54% of millennials will typically check online ratings before seeing a new provider (PNC Healthcare, 2015). Having patients post reviews on sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp is a must to attract millennial patients. If you don’t have a social strategy in place, you’re missing out on an opportunity to help shape your online reputation.

Once they’ve decided to visit your office, they expect prompt service and want to see that you are using modern technology to avoid delays. 74% of millennials prefer booking appointments and paying their medical bills online (Salesforce Research, 2017). Millennials show a preference for interactive online portals similar to the consumer-grade interfaces they utilize in other areas of their lives. However, they are less likely to engage with mobile health unless it’s easy, personal, and secure. They want reminder text messages, personalized healthcare offers, and notifications that are customized to their wants and needs. Millennials are also big fans of telehealth. They constitute a driving force in the growing number of new users each year due to a combination of time and costs savings.

Shorter wait times and WIFI are additional ways to keep them happy. 92% of millennials will switch healthcare providers if they’re not completely satisfied, and more than 60% will share their experience with friends and family when you have failed to meet their expectations. It should come as no surprise that one of their biggest complaints about healthcare is waiting (West, 2017).

Naturally, their biggest concern about healthcare is cost. Millennials are very cost-conscious. They believe what they spend their money on matters. According to Northwestern Mutual, millennials carry an average of $42,000 worth of debt, mainly from credit cards and high-interest student loans (Northwestern Mututal, 2018). A study from ManpowerGroup found that millennials are working harder than other generations, putting in more than 45 hours per week, with 21 percent taking on another job to make ends meet (Manpower Group, 2016). The combination of rising debt and more hours at work means that more millennials are skipping or delaying own care due to the cost.

One survey published in early 2018, stated that 44% of patients skipped care because of costs, while another study showed as many as 64% (West Health Institute, 2018). Of those that do seek care, 41% are willing to ask for cost estimates before agreeing to treatment, and 57% check their health plans to ensure coverage. Affordable payment options are a must for this generation. As a CHUSA provider, you have already taken steps to utilize the simplest way to keep care affordable for your patients, remain compliant with state and federal guidelines, and remain profitable as a business owner.

To learn more about attracting the millennial market to your practice, check out weekly webinar series that covers topics like social marketing, billing, coding, and practice growth.