Sage Growth Partners and Black Book Research Launch Survey to Assess Healthcare Consumer Sentiment During COVID-19 Crisis

More than a quarter feel unsafe going to a doctor’s office; 59% say they’re more likely to use telehealth now than in the past


Baltimore, MD – March 27, 2020 – Sage Growth Partners (SGP) and Black Book Market Research today announced findings from a recently completed joint survey of U.S. healthcare consumers that assesses the public’s challenges, needs, and perspectives during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was administered to 500 U.S. healthcare consumers the week of March 23, 2020, and will be re-administered periodically during the health crisis to identify shifts in sentiment.

As more cities and states continue to issue shelter-in-place orders, U.S. consumers are worried about getting their healthcare needs addressed during the crisis, and concerned about the safety of traditional healthcare settings. With this survey, SGP and Black Book aimed to assess consumer interest in telehealth and other solutions that obviate the need for an in-person healthcare visit.

View the full survey findings as they are updated here.

Key findings include:

Pervasive unease around accessing care is alarming; the doctor’s office feels unsafe to more than a quarter of respondents

  • Sixty-four percent are extremely or somewhat concerned about getting their healthcare needs addressed in the next 4 weeks. Nearly 1 in 5 (18%) are unconcerned or somewhat unconcerned, and an equal number feel neutral.
  • More than a quarter (27%) feel unsafe going to their doctor’s office. Only 58% feel safe; 15% feel neither safe nor unsafe.
  • Only 43% believe they would get safe treatment at a hospital; 33% do not believe they would receive safe treatment, and 24% are unsure.
  • Only 40% believe they would get safe treatment at urgent care; 39% do not believe they would receive safe treatment, and 21% are unsure.

The appetite for telehealth is growing; more than a third would leave a trusted healthcare provider if they could access telehealth instead

  • Only 25% of respondents say they have previously used a telehealth service; 59% are more likely to use telehealth services now versus before. Nineteen percent are not more likely to use telehealth services, and 22% are unsure of their needs.
  • More than two in five (44%) report having telehealth services available to them; 21% do not believe they do, and 35% are unsure whether or not these services are available.
  • Thirty-five percent would switch physicians to be able to access virtual care, though 43% would not and 22% are unsure of what they would do.

Feelings of anxiety and social isolation are high; nearly half seek access to remote behavioral or mental health services

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, (1 being low), 47% report high anxiety (7 or above).
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, (1 being not socially isolated), 51% report feeling very isolated (7 or higher).
  • Almost half (45%) would like more access to virtual behavioral or mental health services for anxiety, depression, and social isolation. Forty-three percent do not need more access, and 12% are unsure of their needs.

Despite public reports of shortages, majority are unconcerned about healthcare supply chain challenges

  • More than half (57%) believe their providers have the supplies and ability to keep supplies stocked to meet medical needs. Only 18% do not believe their providers have adequate supplies and ability to keep supplies stocked; 25% are unsure.
  • Sixty-five percent of respondents believe their pharmacy is well stocked to meet their needs. Twelve percent do not believe their pharmacies are adequately stocked; 23% are unsure.
  • Nearly half (45%) are looking for online, mail order, or other pharmacy solutions that don’t require a store visit. Forty-six percent are not and 9% are unsure of their needs.

“Our country is going through a health crisis of previously unimaginable proportions,” said Doug Brown, President of Black Book Market Research. “This is testing our healthcare system like never before, and as a result, we are going to come out on the other side of this with some critical changes to make. It’s important to understand what healthcare consumers are thinking and feeling right now so the industry can better innovate and meet care delivery needs during this crisis and beyond. We’re excited to team up with Sage Growth Partners on this important work.”

“People are thinking, feeling, and acting differently during this pandemic – we have large swaths of the country who now know what telehealth is, even if they don’t completely understand it,” said Dan D’Orazio, SGP’s CEO. “You can’t put that genie back in the bottle. We’re going to see people say after this, why do I need to go into the doctor’s office? Why can’t I access behavioral health from home? Healthcare has traditionally lagged a decade, if not more, behind other industries, but now we’re being forced to reevaluate how we do everything, from coverage and reimbursement to supply chain and virtual care. It’s unclear whether we’re going through an evolution or a revolution, but the healthcare industry will never be the same.”


About Black Book

Black Book Market Research LLC, its founder, management, and staff do not own or hold any financial interest in any of the consultants and advisory firms covered and encompassed in the surveys it conducts. Black Book reports the results of the collected satisfaction and client experience rankings in publication and to media before firm notification of rating results and does not solicit survey participation fees, review fees, inclusion, or briefing charges, or involve consultant firm collaboration with Black Book before the announcement of the polling outcomes.

In 2009, Black Book began surveying the client experience of healthcare software and managed services users, as well as polling for trend identification, industry insights, and outcomes. Black Book expanded its survey prowess and reputation of independent, unbiased crowd-sourced surveying to technology professionals, physician practice administrators, clinicians, user-level staff, financial leaders, executives, and board members. Consultants and advisor satisfaction polls were first issued in 2011. In 2012, Black Book included payer organizations and insurers and, in 2015, launched panel surveying healthcare consumers.

About Sage Growth Partners

Sage Growth Partners accelerates commercial success for B2B, B2B2C, and B2C healthcare organizations through a singular focus on growth. The company helps its clients thrive amid the complexities of a rapidly changing marketplace with deep domain expertise and an integrated application of research, strategy, and marketing.

Founded in 2005, Sage Growth Partners is located in Baltimore, MD, and serves clients such as Philips Healthcare, U.S. Renal Care, Quest Diagnostics, Vocera, Livongo, Olive, It’s Never 2 Late, and Aperture.