CORRECTING and REPLACING Female and Millennial Patients Most Likely to Worry about Provider Perceptions, New Research Finds

  Survey commissioned by athenahealth reveals significant COVID-19 impact on these two demographics, including avoiding the healthcare system to prevent exposure

WATERTOWN, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Please replace the release with the following corrected version due to multiple revisions.

The updated release reads:

FEMALE AND MILLENNIAL PATIENTS MOST LIKELY TO WORRY ABOUT PROVIDER PERCEPTIONS, NEW RESEARCH FINDS

Survey commissioned by athenahealth reveals significant COVID-19 impact on these two demographics, including avoiding the healthcare system to prevent exposure

athenahealth, Inc., a leading provider of network-enabled software and services for medical groups and health systems nationwide, today announced survey results that show stark differences in healthcare experiences, perceptions, and actions across gender and age demographics, particularly for women and millennials. The research, commissioned by athenahealth, found that more than half of female respondents of all ages (55%) and millennial respondents (61%), defined as Americans born between 1981-1996, report they have interacted with a provider who they felt did not take their health concerns seriously. Furthermore, a similar number of women (54%) and millennials (67%) surveyed say they have had health concerns they did not bring up to their doctor due to fear of appearing anxious, dramatic, or silly. In both cases, these were the highest percentages of all age and gender groups.

In addition, female and millennial respondents are the most likely to report mental and physical effects from the pandemic, according to the survey. More specifically:

  • 64% of female respondents noticed an increase or significant increase in their stress and/or anxiety levels during the pandemic.
  • 52% of female respondents have seen their stress and/or anxiety translate into a physical health concern, with the biggest concern being worse eating and/or exercise habits (32%).
  • 69% of millennial respondents noticed an increase or significant increase in their stress and/or anxiety levels during the pandemic.
  • 63% of millennial respondents have seen their stress and/or anxiety translate into a physical health concern, with the biggest concern being worse eating and/or exercise habits (38%).

Despite having the largest reported increases in mental and physical health concerns, these two populations were most likely (58% for women; 65% for millennials) to avoid visiting a healthcare provider to prevent possible exposure to COVID-19. This was the case both when the pandemic started in 2020 and remains true for many respondents two years later. With stress linked to heart problems and heart disease being the leading cause of death in women, skipped healthcare interactions are worrisome. Data from athenahealth’s network shows that among patients with a pre-pandemic (2019) cardiology visit, 61% of male patients had a follow-up visit during the pandemic (2020 or 2021), compared to 56% of female patients. Men were also more likely than women to have visits in both 2020 and 2021.

“This follow-up appointment data is atypical, as men typically go to the doctor less than women and skip more screenings. However, women have been heavily impacted by the pandemic, which has resulted in much of this demographic putting their own health on the backburner,” said Jessica Sweeney-Platt, vice president of research and editorial strategy at athenahealth. “This is likely attributed to increased childcare and eldercare responsibilities, further shifting focus away from themselves.”

Sweeney-Platt added: “It’s critical for the healthcare industry to increase intervention with the patient populations most likely to skip care now to avoid a wave of costly healthcare outcomes in the future as a result of late-stage diagnoses and a lack of care management.”

The survey data surrounding cardiology visits supports athenahealth’s own network data findings. Among survey respondents, 42% of women with a reported heart condition have skipped some or all of their recommended appointments since their diagnosis, compared to only 36% of their male counterparts. To read more about both the survey and athenahealth network findings, please visit here.

Methodology

The online survey, which was completed by 1,000 U.S. adults, was commissioned by athenahealth and fielded by Dynata, a global market research firm, in February 2022.

About athenahealth, Inc.

athenahealth creates innovative healthcare technology that connects clinicians, patients, payers, and partners in differentiated ways. Our electronic health records, revenue cycle management, and patient engagement tools allow anytime, anywhere access, driving better financial outcomes for our customers and enabling our provider customers to deliver better quality care. In everything we do, we’re inspired by our vision to create a thriving ecosystem that delivers accessible, high-quality, and sustainable healthcare for all. For more information, please visit www.athenahealth.com.

Contacts

Nikki D’Addario

ndaddario@athenahealth.com

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