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Assessing consumers’ readiness to return to healthcare facilities

Hello, I'm Russell Davis, Executive Director on Optum’s Consumer Acquisition Services team. Here's a question we're getting from health system marketing executives, which of my consumers are most ready to return to our facilities as we reopen, and what do I do about the ones who aren't? I want to show you how to answer that. Our team has developed a measure, it's called the Optum COVID Concern Index and it shows marketers which consumers are ready to return for care, which ones are not, and it helps them figure out exactly how to reach and speak to different segments. We conduct this analysis at a geographic market level. The one I'm going to show you happens to be from central Florida, but we can run it for your market as well. Now our goal here is to measure the impact of COVID on consumers returning to your facilities for care.

The index helps you see which consumers are most concerned about returning for care as you reopen. Now to build this, we first analyzed all of the COVID-19 related consumer research we could get our hands on. Then we designed the measure, we use data about demographics and health behaviors and health needs and lifestyle indicators, and then we layered on top Optum's proprietary predictive disease models. So there's a very rich data element here. Obviously this is only one input into your plan for bringing patients back, but we believe it's an essential one.

And we start by segmenting the adult population into the four groups you see here, the least concerned or the ones most ready to return are on the left. The ones most concerned are over on the right. Now this lets you see the distribution of concern right in your backyard. So on the page, in this case, roughly two-thirds of the consumers in this market, or at least pretty concerned about returning to a care setting. So they're going to need more than a gentle nudge to come back to a facility anytime soon. We have some general observations about the people in each of these segments. For example, on the left, the fearless firsts tend to be younger, the reluctant to returns are skeptical of information. They're going to need a little bit of prodding to come back.

We've also got views on tactics you can use to reach and speak to these groups in meaningful ways. The positive pragmatists might need a scalable digital campaign that validates that, yeah, things are actually getting back to normal, but the laggards over on the right, they're going to need a longer term investment in re-education.

So this sort of general overview leads to more specific questions about differences across service lines. And we can do that too. Here's what they look like in the sample market. On the vertical axis here, the level of concern and on the horizontal, the number of people who are likely to need a particular service. It doesn't take too long, looking at this picture to see how this could potentially inform any campaigns that you're going to run across the next several months.

So top left as an example, there you've got consumers likely to need breast care and they're very concerned relative to the overall market. Down to the bottom right, you've got consumers likely to need cardiology services. They are less afraid than average and there are lots of them.

Now once we look at concern across the entire market and then we look at it here by service line, we can also look at it based on profitability and here are the index is really helpful. It basically shows how ready the profit in your market is to return by service line. And there are two things you can do with this analysis. One, you get clarity on the overall profit picture and it's pretty stark in this particular market, the most ready cardiology consumers, so the ones in the green up top account for more profit than many of the other service lines combined.

Second, you can see how the distribution of concern is very different across your service line. So look at breast cancer about halfway down, lots of concern in that segment.

So as you're thinking about prioritizing precision campaigns and specific messaging or if you're just talking to your chief financial officer about budget allocation and where to put your money, this sort of thing can be a really helpful first step. I hope that gives you a quick feel for how the COVID Concern Index can help you across the coming months. Just let us know if you're interested, we'll run this analysis for your market and find an hour to go through it with you. You can request that either by contacting your Optum client executive or you can email my colleague Brian Michels. You see his email in the bottom right? I want to thank you for your time. I hope this was helpful. Please let us know if you'd like to meet probably virtually in the near term and until then, stay safe.


Your reopening strategy forces you to wrestle with a new consumer attribute: concern about  COVID-19. In this video, Russell Davis shares insights from the Optum COVID Concern Index about how consumers feel about returning to health care facilities.

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