Millennials and Generation Z Have a Big Problem With Traditional Health Care in the U.S.

February 13, 2019, 2:29 PM UTC

Younger people are less likely than their parents and grandparents to find value in the traditional health care system, a new study shows.

In its 2019 Digital Health Consumer Survey, Accenture found that while 85% of the “Silent Generation,” or people born between 1928 and 1945, have a primary case physician, just 55% of Generation Z (people born in 1997 or after) have one. Two-thirds of Millennials (people born between 1981 and 1996) have a primary care physician, which puts them far below the 84% of Baby Boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) and 76% of Generation X (people born between 1965 and 1980) who have opted for a primary care physician, according to the study.

When Accenture dug into the data, the company found that younger people are generally “dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with the state of traditional health care. Those younger generations are looking for more “effectiveness, convenience, efficiency, and transparency,” according to Accenture. They’re also more willing than older generations to consider healthcare outside of traditional Western medicine, like acupuncture and yoga.

Across all patient groups, digital care has become an appealing option. In fact, 70% of respondents said that they would rather choose a doctor who will provide follow-up care over e-mail or with a text message. Fifty-three percent of the respondents said that they prefer telemedicine to traditional in-person visits. Younger generations also value text-message-delivered test results and digital prescription refills.

Looking ahead, Accenture believes the health care industry is entering a major shift, thanks in no small part to Millennials driving that change.

“With Millennials projected to become the largest generation by 2019, this generation holds the most power to influence future health care models,” Accenture wrote.