The Truven Health Blog

The latest healthcare topics from a trusted, proven, and unbiased source.


PULSE Healthcare Survey Captures Opinions Despite Communication Preferences

By Truven Staff
The perceived risk of taking painkillers is an issue for people of all ages and communication preferences. Our polling shows that one in three adults only have a cell phone instead of both a cell phone and a land line. This is especially important as we collect opinions from the more mobile Millennials and Generation Xers, as well as the more traditional Baby Boomers and Seniors, who often have cell phones in addition to land lines.
Every other month, the Truven Health Analytics™-NPR Health Poll surveys approximately 3,000 Americans to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of healthcare issues. Poll results are reported by NPR on the health blog and on air. Complete survey results are also posted. NPR’s are archived.

The Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll is powered by the Truven Health Analytics PULSE® Healthcare Survey, an independently funded multi-modal (land line, cell phone, and internet) survey that collects information from more than 82,000 U.S. households annually. 3,010 survey participants were interviewed from May 1–15, 2014, and the article, , reflects their responses. The margin of error is +/- 1.8 percent.

The biggest advantage of using multi-modal survey over strictly land-line telephone surveys is that fewer and fewer people are using land-line telephones. By employing a multi-mode approach to the PULSE Healthcare Survey that includes land-line phone, cell phone, and internet, Truven Health is ensuring that all segments of the population are included in the sample.

By 2010, 21% of the adult population used cell phones exclusively. By 2012, this number increased to 30% and has continued to increase. Additional research suggests that the 18-35 year old population is the largest group of cell phone “only” or cell phone “mostly” users. The 18-35 age group is becoming more difficult to reach and other methods must be used besides land-line telephones.

People have expanded their means of communication, and our work  reflects consumer preference in our polling  sampling methodology. As people leverage technology  to communicate in many different ways, it‘s important that surveys develop sampling methodologies that are broadly inclusive. The PULSE Healthcare Survey is doing just that.

George Popa
Research Scientist, PULSE Healthcare Survey

Provider Cost Competition Affected by Generational Characteristics

By Truven Staff
Linda MacCracken imagePricing transparency is more crucial to consumer provider selection, given more healthcare spending. Price and affordability are one of the top two factors defining quality for Generation Xers and Baby Boomers, and the third highest factor among the younger Millennials and older Generation Xers. The recent article, s underscores the future impact to providers. This is more apparent in outpatient care, where there are many more competitors for the same provider services. Providers wanting to keep the educated, informed and patients willing to act will need to engage around direct price competition – via payments, rates and payer channels. The Truven Health Treatment Cost Calculator integrates payer coverage benefits applied to any planned procedure, and gives the consumer more provider switching options than seen in the past. For the Millennial deciding between seeing the doctor or spending money on food, entertainment and cell phone fees, healthcare may be postponed. The Baby Boomers and Greatest Generation have higher loyalty to primary care providers, and may have a comparatively slower rate of defection for pricing purposes for planned procedures, such as the colonoscopies.

Complete a short form to download the Truven Health research brief, , that explains the motivations behind four current generations:
  • Greatest/Silent Generation (adults born before 1942): Physician Directs Me
  • Baby Boomers (1943–1960): Engage Me
  • Generation X (1961–1981): Educate Me
  • Millennials (Adults Born Since 1982): Connect With Me
These generational attitudes affect how consumers view a variety of healthcare decisions.

Linda MacCracken
VP, Advisory Services