There is a trend in healthcare toward customer-centrism—placing the interests of the consumer before all other considerations. The trend may be slow in its growth, but for those healthcare organizations that embrace the idea and obsess over improving the consumer’s experience throughout their healthcare journey, there can be a payoff. But improving consumer experience in healthcare takes a commitment and courage to venture outside of traditional comfort zones.
For years, the polarized debate over healthcare policy has included advocacy for a more consumer-directed healthcare system. The argument in favor says consumers and providers alike must have more skin in the game—financial responsibility—and better information with which to make more consumer-like decisions. For providers, the “skin” means risk-based contracts. For consumers, it means higher deductibles and other out-of-pocket cost exposure. There has been significant movement in this direction.