Maestro Health unveils new research: The Consumer Healthcare Paradox

Maestro Health, a leading all-in employee health and benefits company, today launched a new survey: The Consumer Healthcare Paradox. The key findings illuminate consumers’ total lack of control over their personal healthcare journeys and the industry at large. According to the report, a surprising majority (78%) of respondents describe their healthcare experience as “positive.” Yet, 69% don’t feel fully empowered to control their healthcare journeys. Maestro Health has dubbed the perceived positive experience paired with a complete lack of control “The Consumer Healthcare Paradox.”

“The results of our survey point to everything that is wrong with the American healthcare experience,” said Nancy Reardon, Chief Strategy and Product Officer, Maestro Health. “While people think they feel positively about their current experiences in the healthcare system, they can also identify mounds of opportunity for improvement. It simply does not make sense. For example, consumers are willing to pay $450 for a cranial support cushion – aka, a neck pillow – when billed by their healthcare provider. But because they think this is as good as the healthcare industry gets, they will never fight back against the fraud, waste or abuse that so clearly impacts them every day.”

According to the data, over half of respondents think the healthcare system “is what it is,” or is impossible to change. Those in this group cite one root cause: lack of sufficient support in a system they don’t believe is looking out for their wellbeing. When asked all the ways to improve upon their healthcare experience, consumers cite the top three as lower costs (52%), the ability to seek out care from any healthcare provider (37%) and having one resource to select a doctor, manage claims and pay bills (28%).

While consumers recognize the importance of seeking out healthcare despite high costs and difficulty navigating the system, there is a disconnect between the care they expect and the care they receive. Seventy six percent (76%) of people reported visiting a primary care physician within the last year. Yet, only half of all respondents feel the healthcare they receive is equal to or greater than what it costs, and more than half have received medical bills that were higher than anticipated. Consumers are conditioned to do what it takes to ensure optimal health and wellbeing. This means regularly seeking out quality care but without fully understanding what they are paying for and why.

“When consumers tell you they go to the doctor frequently but can’t tell you what was on their last bill, it’s clear that our healthcare system is broken,” added Reardon. “We’re seeing organizations take a stand on behalf of their employees. Employers are looking into modern solutions that improve outcomes and lower costs. But they can’t do it alone. We all have reasonable expectations around our healthcare experiences. Isn’t it time we did something about it, together?”

The U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other developed nation, yet Americans’ health outcomes are some of the worst. Maestro Health has identified the solution: an innovative health plan management approach to self-funded benefits. This strategy aims to help benefits brokers and consultants, employers and employees reclaim control of their healthcare by reducing costs and complexity, while improving health outcomes.

Maestro Health recently launched its newest campaign “This Is Not Healthcare” which aims to uncover the fraud, waste and abuse rampant throughout the healthcare industry. To further explore this issue, Maestro Health has commissioned a broader report to be issued Fall 2019.

Click here to download Maestro Health’s infographic, The Consumer Healthcare Paradox.


Kaitlin Mansour
Director of Corporate Communications

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