Most Young Patients Have Recently Established a Relationship with a New Provider

March 30, 2023

Two in 3 US adults are likely to abandon a brand after a poor customer service experience. Patients’ patience isn’t much different, according to a RevSpring report [pdf]: two-thirds (67%) say it’s very or somewhat likely they would switch providers if they experienced poor communication during the pre-care process.

Additionally, a smaller majority (56%) would be at least somewhat likely to seek a new healthcare provider as a result of a poor billing experience.

Providers should pay attention to this, given separate results indicating that patients are open to establishing new relationships with providers. Some 52% of survey respondents overall reported that they established a relationship with a new healthcare provider, doctor, clinic or hospital in the previous 12 months. This figure was highest among 18-26-year-olds (66%), who were also far more likely than average to say that they would switch providers were they to experience a poor pre-care experience (83%).

Among respondents who had established a new relationship in the past year, the most common way of finding their new doctor or healthcare provider was via a professional referral, as cited by 33% share. That was followed by internet search (21% share) and an insurance provider’s website (21%), with fewer relying on a personal referral (14%). Notably, the 27-34 age bracket was the most likely to use an internet search to find their new provider (33% share), followed by the 35-44 age bracket (31% share). In each case, internet searches were this group’s primary way of finding a new provider.

Previous research has indicated that patients are most likely to take into account their insurance plan benefits and coverage when deciding where to get care.

Returning to the RevSpring survey, patient satisfaction was highest with understanding care information and scheduling appointments, and lowest with completing paperwork and forms. Among those who were dissatisfied when interacting with their healthcare provider, the most common reasons given were not being able to find the right information and not being sure who to call.

Meanwhile, in other healthcare research, 6 in 10 adults surveyed by the Pew Research Center would feel uncomfortable if their healthcare provider relied on artificial intelligence (AI) for their medical care. However, slightly more believe that AI in health and medicine will lead to better (38% share) than worse (33% share) outcomes. The areas in which adults have the most positive outlook for AI are in reducing the number of mistakes made by healthcare providers and improving the job that healthcare providers do treating people of all races and ethnicities fairly. By contrast, adults are generally pessimistic about the impact on patients’ personal relationship with their healthcare providers and the security of patients’ health records.

About the Data: The RevSpring results are based on a survey conducted by Keypoint Intelligence among 1,000 consumers ages 18-75 who met the following conditions: had visited a doctor at least once in the past year; had paid a healthcare bill in the past 6 months; were responsible for paying their own medical bills; made their own healthcare appointments; and received healthcare forms from medical professionals and/or health insurance providers.

The Pew Research Center data is based on a December 2022 survey of 11,004 US adults.


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