White pa­per stud­ies con­sumer health­care use

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK IN HEALTHCARE -

Al­fredo is caught in the mid­dle. He lives in Los An­ge­les County with his wife and two chil­dren; next door is his mother, who suf­fers from de­men­tia. His wife works part time at Jcpen­ney and gets a small stipend each month to help with his mom, who needs around-the­clock care. But that stipend goes right back out of their wal­lets to pay a care­giver for the 12 hours a day that Al­fredo and his fam­ily can’t be there.

Al­fredo and his sis­ter take turns at night, and it all takes a toll fi­nan­cially and emo­tion­ally. “I want to get a part-time job to get at least some money saved up for what­ever, and it’s kind of a no-go right now since I have to be here ev­ery other day,” said Al­fredo, who works a full-time job at a lo­gis­tics com­pany.

There are plenty of Al­fre­dos out there. Ac­cord­ing to the Ad Age/ip­sos Ob­server Amer­i­can Con­sumer Sur­vey, the area in which he lives has a large His­panic pop­u­la­tion and more than the av­er­age num­ber of fam­i­lies re­spon­si­ble for par­ent care.

Al­fredo’s for­tu­nate: His mother, like many in her gen­er­a­tion, had life­time health ben­e­fits from her job in a fac­tory, where she made photo al­bums. Be­tween her in­sur­ance and Medi­care, all health­care costs are cov­ered ex­cept for her care­giver. Still, her care ex­acts a fi­nan­cial and emo­tional toll.

But Medi­care, too, is look­ing to cut costs. With the re­ces­sion and new health­care leg­is­la­tion driv­ing new fo­cus on cost-cut­ting, hos­pi­tals want to re­duce re­turn vis­its to sat­isfy Medi­care, which is re­duc­ing pay­ments for pa­tients who come back to the hospi­tal un­nec­es­sar­ily. Keep­ing them out of the hospi­tal man­dates chang­ing pa­tient habits about post-care is­sues like tak­ing med­i­ca­tions and fol­low­ing doc­tor’s or­ders.

The logic: Get­ting a pa­tient to take med­i­ca­tions cor­rectly cuts costs for the hos­pi­tals, drives in­come for the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies, and im­proves the health of the con­sumer. Ev­ery­one wins. But chang­ing health­care habits will re­quire mar­ket­ing by in­sur­ers, med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies fo­cused on pre­ven­tive and well care. Know­ing how best to ad­dress dif­fer­ent seg­ments is cru­cial.

Ad­ver­tis­ing Age, as part of its Amer­i­can Con­sumer Project, has teamed up with sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion Mod­ern Health­care to study gen­er­a­tional at­ti­tudes as well as dif­fer­ing at­ti­tudes through­out our county seg­ments. We part­nered with mar­ket re­search firm GFK MRI to per­form some cus­tom anal­y­sis of its more than 25,000-per­son con­sumer sur­vey and con­ducted ex­clu­sive re­search with Ip­sos Ob­server. A new Mod­ern Health­care In­sights and Ad Age In­sights re­port cov­ers a wide range of top­ics in­clud­ing us­age and at­ti­tudes about pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions, herbal reme­dies, doc­tor vis­its, care-giv­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and how con­sumers re­ceive mes­sages about all of the above. The re­port is avail­able for pur­chase for $249 at mod­ern­health­care.com/gen­er­a­tions. — Matt Carmichael, di­rec­tor of in­for­ma­tion projects

at Ad­ver­tis­ing Age.

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