Gen Z and Healthcare: An Overview for Providers

Like all other businesses, healthcare providers must meet the needs of a wide range of patient demographics—all of which have drastically different ideas about what patient satisfaction looks like.

Gen Z is the newest consumer generation, and they have big expectations.  Where millennials placed emphasis on experiences, Gen Z preferences are about access.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Gen Z and healthcare. 

Meet Gen Z: The Search for Authenticity 

Born between the late 90s and 2010s, Gen Zers are the first generation to grow up with the worldwide web at their fingertips—true digital natives.

Like all generations, Gen Z’s outlook on the world and their behavior are largely shaped by their external circumstances. Because disruption and change have been the norm for Gen Zers, they’re less likely to be satisfied with the status quo. One study found that Gen Z’s search for truth and self-expression impacts every decision they make

Gen Z makes up more than a quarter of the U.S. population and is estimated to have $360 billion in disposable income.

Still young, this generation is on track to be the most educated generation in American history. They make informed decisions on everything—from how they handle their finances to what they want in their healthcare experience.

How Gen Z Is Reshaping Healthcare

As Gen Zers leave pediatrics behind and take responsibility for their own health and well-being, the opportunity for healthcare providers is just beginning.

Gen Z is redefining wellness: instead of a once-a-year visit to the doctor, health is a state of being for this generation. But where nearly 70% of Gen Zers describe themselves as being healthy, they are most likely to rate their mental health as fair or poor. 

Being tech-savvy, Gen Zers need a seamless digital experience. Surprisingly, though, nearly 66% prefer to have some sort of in-person healthcare experience as well.

As much as health—both physical and emotional—is a priority, Gen Zers report high rates of dissatisfaction regarding the overall healthcare experience.  Providers have work to do if they want to improve patient satisfaction for Gen Z.

How Providers Can Connect With Gen Z

With their expectations of convenience, flexibility, and transparency front and center, here are five actionable strategies for healthcare providers to better meet Gen Z preferences. 

1. Maintain a Relevant Online Presence 

Nearly 60% of Gen Zers use social media for information—almost double that of other generations. It serves as their source of news, entertainment, shopping, research, and social connection.

There are no two ways about it: to reach Gen Z, you have to be present. Be sure your practice builds authentic opportunities for engagement with transparency and accountability. Gen Z can sniff out marketing gimmicks in seconds. 

2. Prioritize Convenience 

Nearly 78% of Gen Zers say that accessibility and convenience are important characteristics of their favorite brands.

This generation is frugal, educated, and has a healthy skepticism about the world around them. In fact, Gen Z is much less likely to maintain loyalty and will gravitate toward providers who meet their needs, without flinching.

They’ve grown up in a world of speed, and they expect healthcare to fit into their lives seamlessly and without disruption.

3. Make Digital Payments a Priority 

As digital-first consumers, it makes sense that Gen Z shows a particular fondness for mobile payments, as they do the majority of their banking and financial business online.

Gen Z not only expects a short wait for financial services—they want to be in control of their payments.

To attract Gen Z’s attention, make sure you offer digital patient payments solutions.

4. Offer Flexible Payment Plans 

In a world where 83% of Gen Zers want brands to take a stance on social issues, offering flexible payment plans demonstrates a healthcare organization’s commitment towards access to affordable healthcare. Gen Z has a distinct preference for Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options with the rise of financial technology companies like Affirm and Klarna. It’s no surprise that those preferences carry over into healthcare. 

And for a generation that is leery of taking on debt, offering affordable and flexible payment plans can build rapport and trust

5. Focus on Overall Wellness 

Gen Z and healthcare can’t be a casual relationship. They’re taking healthcare into their own hands, researching and becoming educated on nutrition, sleep habits, daily exercise, and physical activity.

They’re looking for providers who can partner with them and meet their holistic health needs, and they’re willing to pay for it. Arm Gen Z patients with knowledge, and empower them to be in control of their health. 

AccessOne: Bringing Gen Z and Healthcare Together  

Gen Z is already starting to have a profound impact on the future of healthcare and the success of healthcare providers. As such, it’s essential that your healthcare organization meets the needs of this patient demographic. 

Gen Zers will choose providers who adapt to digital-first patient payments, prioritizing convenience and flexibility.

AccessOne is partnering with healthcare providers to deliver the patient experience Gen Z consumers are asking for. Schedule a demo today, and be sure to check out some of our success stories with healthcare providers across the country. 

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