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Cheat Sheet

What different generations want from primary care

Each generation consumes health care differently and prefers different features and services when shopping for care. What changes or investments can you make to meet these age-segmented preferences?

To find out, we surveyed more than 3,000 consumers across the U.S. about their health status, primary care behaviors, and preferences when looking for a primary care provider in different contexts.

This cheat sheet series highlights key differences in: 

  • where each of these cohorts go for primary care and how often; 
  • what sources they consult when choosing where to go for care; 
  • what clinic features or attributes they look for when shopping; and 
  • what services and technologies they are open to trying. 

Gen Z – Born between 1997 and 2012

Gen Zers may use more primary care services than older generations, but usually at sites other than traditional primary care clinics. Their preferences and interests are diverse, so separating need-to-have features from nice-to-have features is necessary to ensure return on investment.

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Millennials – Born between 1981 and 1996

Millennials tend to be the most price sensitive of all age cohorts when shopping for care, but are often willing to pay extra if it guarantees getting them quick access and positive experiences. Finding the sweet spot of convenience and value will be key to winning their long-term loyalty.

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Gen X – Born between 1965 and 1980

Most Gen Xers have minimal contact with a PCP throughout the year, but still rely heavily on past experience to guide future care decisions. Making a good impression and using visit time efficiently will be key to retaining these patients and ensuring quality outcomes.

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Boomers – Born between 1946 and 1964

Boomers rely heavily on traditional primary care clinics for both ongoing primary care and basic urgent care, but that does not mean they will tolerate poor experiences or long wait times. Making relatively minor adjustments to scheduling, staffing, and operating hours has the potential to make a big impact on retention.

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Silent Generation – Born between 1928 and 1945

Members of the Silent Generation tend to be the most traditional consumers of ongoing primary care services, but are surprisingly willing to try alternative care options—especially as a way to receive care more quickly. In order to count on their loyalty, your clinic must deliver on specific non-negotiables.

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