As debate rages on the political stage about what is wrong with healthcare, and how to fix it, has anybody really taken the time to find out what Americans really want out of healthcare?
Someone has. The Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation, recently held a series of nine focus groups nationwide to ask what people really needed –particularly those in underserved communities – from healthcare.
Here is what the results found:
The primary care system is not meeting the needs of the people who need it most because they do not have the ability to form meaningful primary care relationships and the system does not address the impact that problems like transportation, housing insecurity, mental health issues, and more, have on their overall health. “Consumers expressed the desire for a primary care relationship that is not necessarily tied to a credential [e.g., an MD], but rather one that is rooted in empathy for the significant challenges and barriers this population faces in their day to day life,” says Ann Hwang, MD, director of the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation, a national, non-profit consumer health advocacy organization based in Boston.
Hwang went on to say that, “The voices in this report belong to people with complex health and social needs—a group that tends to include some of the highest-need and highest-cost patients. As systems shift toward value-based payment and try to understand and address non-medical drivers of good health (i.e., social determinants of health), this kind of insight is critical to designing and delivering care that actually meets the needs of the people it serves.”
Based on the poll, here are the five things consumers want most out of the healthcare delivery system.
- Consumers want a long-term, trusting relationship with their primary care provider.
- Consumers value a coordinator or navigator who can help them manage their care, connect them to social services and advocate for them when needed.
- Consumers welcome a broader conversation with their primary care provider, not just focused on their medical treatment, but exploring the needs of the whole person.
- Consumers want a “one-stop shop” where they could receive a wide variety of services under one roof, including medical services, mental health treatment and counseling, and social services.
- Consumers hope for a provider who is culturally sensitive, able to relate to their life experience and struggle, and who uses the language they can understand.
What do you think of these 5 things, are they the same things you want from your healthcare provider? What might you add to the list? Please reply using the comments below.