In recent years, there has been a generational shift away from primary-care providers.
In fact, a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 45% of adults between the ages of 18-29 said that they had no primary care physician. Compared to only 18% of those between 50 and 64.
Millennials don’t want to wait.
So why the change? Many younger adults simply don’t find the value in primary care benefits and prefer the fast convenience of urgent care clinics. This change has prompted fast-growing alternatives to pop up, like retail clinics carved out of drugstores, free-standing urgent care centers and online telemedicine sites. Plus, they simply don’t want to wait in a waiting room.
Millennials especially crave convenience more than familiarity. But it’s not just them. Just like we all crave the “easy button” when it comes to banking and shopping, we also crave that same amount of ease with healthcare. But the ease of urgent care and fast, one-stop-shop clinics could be causing more harm than good.
One-off visits may be causing more harm than good.
In fact, a recent report in JAMA International Medicine found that nearly half of patients who sought treatment at an urgent care clinic for a cold or flu left with an unnecessary and potentially harmful prescription for antibiotics, compared to only 17% of those seen in a doctor’s office.
Additionally, visiting a doctor who knows your history is the best way to catch a potential health crisis early. Regardless of how healthy you are, going to someone who has a long list of data about you can spot irregularities easier and faster than someone who is seeing you only for the first time.
Encouraging your employees to make annual doctor’s appointments is a good way to increase engagement with your benefits as well as potentially lowering health costs. Additionally, telemedicine is a great stop gap for those that hate waiting in line.
Share this video with your employees, we discuss all the benefits of visiting a primary care physician regularly.