15 May Baby Boomers and Their Impact on Healthcare
“Baby Boomers”—a cultural demographic according to the U.S. Census Bureau—are people born between 1946 and 1964 when a boom in births occurred following World War II. They represent nearly 20% of the population and have a powerful impact on the economy. As they age, Baby Boomers also have the potential to significantly impact healthcare.
Baby Boomers View Themselves as Consumers of Healthcare
As a generation that protested war, promoted gender equality and defied racism, Baby Boomers aren’t well known for accepting the status quo or for respecting authority figures at face value. Their parents may have done just exactly as the doctor ordered, but Boomers are more likely to be consumers of healthcare. They frequently research their medical conditions, seek out second opinions and take an active role in their own health.
Physicians will need to embrace this patient-doctor dynamic to keep existing patients and expand their practice with new patients. It is also important to know where patients are obtaining their information to be able to access its value. Physicians may need to position themselves as partners in their patient’ care, ones who provides value-based healthcare.
Longer Lifespan and More Chronic Illnesses
Baby Boomers may be living longer than previous generations, yet they will face their own set of health challenges. Studies show that obesity and inactivity are on the rise, and inactivity is reported to lead to more deaths than smoking: 5.3 million compared 5 million worldwide.
According to James Levine, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, “We know that as soon as somebody gets out of their chair, their blood sugar improves, their blood cholesterol and triglycerides improve, and that’s very consistent. Every time you get up it gets better. Every time you sit down it gets worse.”
A poll by Associate-Press LifeGoesStrong.com (cited by CBSNews.com) discovered that obesity was higher in baby boomers than their predecessors. Obesity—often caused by inactivity—is linked to an increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis.
What does this mean for physicians? Preventative approaches and patient education. From a healthcare standpoint, preventative measures will help keep patients healthier. From a marketing standpoint, patients who are pleased with their improved health are quite likely to share this information. Positioning your practice as leaders who help patients avoid medical problems, rather than simply treating them, could prove to be a successful strategy.
Using Technology to Provide Care More Efficiently
As the number of seniors continues to grow, a tremendous strain on the healthcare system as we know it is predicated. The big debate is on how to handle the costs of healthcare and create efficiencies that incorporate value-based care.
One of the cost-saving methods currently in use is telemedicine. Telemedicine, once most popular in underserved rural areas, is gaining in popularity. According to the American Telemedicine Association, “Telemedicine has been shown to reduce the cost of healthcare and increase efficiency through better management of chronic diseases, shared health professional staffing, reduced travel times, and fewer or shorter hospital stays.”
Integrating telemedicine into your practice could allow you to help more patients, as well as saving time and costs.
How To Adapt Your Practice to the Emerging Demands of Baby Boomers
The savvy marketing professionals at the Healthcare Marketing Group understand what an influx of aging patients could mean to the way you run your practice. They can help you decide what technologies to adapt, and how to position your practice.
To help you gain the marketing results you need, Healthcare Marketing Group offers several services free of charge: phone consultation, website analysis, competitor website analysis as well as free social media and marketing guides.
You can reach us at 800-258-0702 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to collaborating on your success.