Much like the products we buy or the devices we prefer watching content on, services, too, tend to vary according to where we live. According to Nielsen’s 2014 Local Watch Report, this regional consumption of services plays a critical role in the type of healthcare consumers are receiving. From signing up for coverage to purchasing medication, local factors influence consumer behavior and the report noted that the health care landscape is as varied as it is vast.
Nationally, more than 85 percent of consumers have health care coverage, but there are noticeable differences regarding the specific types of insurance they have. The report found that nearly 32 percent of those insured get coverage from a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), while 31.3 percent receive their health benefits from either Medicare or Medicaid.
The report also took a look at five designated market areas (DMAs)—Miami, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Milwaukee and Dallas—and found that, regionally, differences in the services and medication rendered exist. For instance, in Miami, where suntans and beach bods reign supreme, residents are 28 times more likely than the average American to use a dermatological health care specialist in the past 12 months. Conversely, in Dallas a resident is 23 times more likely than the average American to pay for a fee-paid weight loss program.
Different Markets Have Different Health Care Needs
|Category||Specialist or Medication||Miami||Washington, D.C.||San Diego||Milwaukee||Dallas|
|Medical services HHLD received in the past 3 years (HHLD)||Pediatrics||118||129||122||104||129|
|Specialist used in the past 12 months||Cardiologist||135||106||75||92||88|
|Specialist used in the past 12 months||Dermatologist||128||126||93||88||86|
|Specialist used in the past 12 months||OB/GYN||105||121||76||103||93|
|Specialist used in the past 12 months||Any fee-paid weight loss program||109||115||119||81||123|
|Medications – Reason bought in the past 12 months||Weight loss medication||121||74||117||45||101|
|Medications – Reason bought in the past 12 months||Did not buy medications||103||85||156||103||103|
|Read as: Residents of Miami are 35 times more likely than the average American to have used a cardiologist in the past 12 months.
Source: Nielsen Scarborough.