Research Report

2023 State of the Healthcare Consumer Report: Measuring What Matters

5 minute
Stethoscope and medical icons

Register for Kaufman Hall's latest State of the Healthcare Consumer Report webinar on Wednesday, January 24, at 11:00 a.m. Central.

Despite years of management attention on the disruptive potential of consumerism, the health system operating model remains provider-centric, with performance metrics focused on transactions rather than the strength and durability of consumer relationships. At the same time, many organizations are hesitant to make investments in consumer-focused solutions for which the return on investment (ROI) is unclear.

The reality is that without a shift in measurement priorities, health systems have no way of quantifying the impact of consumer relationships on their business model—and no way of understanding the ROI of consumer-focused investments. Prioritizing new metrics—such as new patient acquisition, patient churn/retention, share of wallet, and longitudinal value—can allow health systems to diagnose underlying utilization trends and confidently implement and track consumer-centric strategies. Measuring the value or strength of relationships with consumers creates opportunities to better understand and influence consumer decisions about where, how, and when to receive healthcare services.

The imperative for health systems to directly address consumer needs and preferences in core operations and in the design and implementation of strategies is well documented. Consumers now have plenty of incentives, information, choices, and digital tools that enable activation. These dynamics all point to the need to abandon the traditional operating model and become more consumer-centric. However, acknowledging the need to be consumer-centric and becoming so are two different things.

While the imperatives for greater focus on the consumer are strong, healthcare executives also face challenges around growing service lines, cost and margin management, operational and staffing pressures, and more. But what if a solution to financial performance was also the solution to the consumer imperative?

Without measuring underlying consumer dynamics, health systems miss crucial opportunities to invest in impactful consumer-centric strategies that could solve a number of challenges. While leading health systems maintain strong inpatient market share, the share of consumer healthcare spending they capture is significantly lower. Health systems today capture only a fraction of a consumer’s lifetime value.

Over the last decade, through extensive original consumer research, surveys of healthcare leaders, and client engagements, Kaufman Hall has identified three critical steps healthcare organizations should take to advance a consumer-centric operating model.

The first step in this journey is the focus of our 2023 State of the Healthcare Consumer Report—our eighth annual report documenting the progress and challenges faced by an industry striving to transform in the face of significant headwinds.

Specifically, we explore the current state of health system growth and performance measurement; progress the industry has made in adopting consumer-centric, relationship-focused metrics; the barriers they face; and the types of decisions and strategies that arise from taking a more consumer-centric approach. The report is based on a survey of 59 healthcare executives and interviews with a range of healthcare leaders, as well as Kaufman Hall’s experience advising health system clients across the country.


Scott Christensen, Senior Vice President,

Rebecca Duffin, Vice President,

Tom Prescott, Assistant Vice President,

Claire Galligan, Senior Associate,

Nina Leutz, Senior Associate,

Peter Seymour, Associate,

The Consumer team would also like to thank Sg2 for their support of this year’s report.

For media inquiries, please contact Haydn Bush,

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