White paper studies consumer healthcare use
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.