CVS and Amazon are the biggest threats to healthcare organizations

Healthcare organizations are keeping an eye on technology behemoths, which are the new entrants and competitors in the healthcare industry.

A whopping 88% of healthcare leaders acknowledge that hospitals and health systems are vulnerable to consumer-friendly offerings from non-hospital competitors, according to the latest 2019 Healthcare Consumerism Index from Kaufman Hall. The annual survey looks at how close healthcare organizations are to providing their priorities with their actual capabilities with respect to consumerism initiatives.

Top of mind is UnitedHealth Group and its Optum business, CVS Health and Aetna, as well as Amazon, as the biggest competitors and threats to their businesses, respondents said in the index. By comparison, Google and Apple, which are among the biggest company in the United States, are viewed as less of a threat because of their minimal.

In addition, consumers are looking to Google, Amazon and Apple more when it comes to new digital health tools. One-third of respondents in Kaufman Hall’s survey of consumers said they trust those companies more than healthcare providers t develop the best online tools to find and select healthcare providers.

Healthcare companies seem to realize they are behind in their technology capabilities––98% said their organization’s digital experience is either somewhat or significantly worse than Amazon. Just 2% were comparable to Amazon, they said.

When it came to technology overall, many healthcare organizations––42%––considered using digital tools to engage consumers as a high-to-extreme priority; 35% said it was a moderate priority and 21% listed it as a low priority. However, only 4% said their organization offers best-in-class digital engagement.

The majority of respondents––81%––also identified the customer experience as a high priority for their organization. Other frequently-cited priorities included developing more brick-and-mortar facilities and offering more access points for consumers, using consumer learning to guide strategy, while keeping prices low was a low priority.

"Many hospitals and health systems remain focused on a brick-and-mortar model of offering consumers access to their providers," Dan Clarin, senior vice president, strategic and financial planning at Kaufman Hall, said in a statement. "Consumers are accustomed to the convenience of being able to access the goods and services they need on their smartphones, tablets, and computers. Healthcare organizations that want to connect with new or potential consumers should adapt their delivery models to remain relevant in an increasingly digital environment."

See the full report here.