Kaufman Hall has been tracking the growing influence of consumer decision-making in healthcare—commonly referred to as “consumerism”—for the past five years. Changes in the consumer healthcare journey—from scheduling appointments online to accessing a growing number of outpatient and virtual care options by traditional providers and new entrants alike—were already taking place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. But as infection rates skyrocketed in the U.S. in early March of 2020, providers were forced to pivot and quickly launched or accelerated their consumer project timetables from years to a matter of weeks and even days.

This Kaufman Hall special report explores the factors influencing the acceleration of trends in consumerism in the wake of a pandemic, hospital strategies for addressing them, and the future outlook across access, experience, and pricing.