Survey: Baby Boomers Say Fear is Primary Health Motivator

Three out of four boomers say they should be doing more to manage
their health in new MDVIP survey; many waiting for life-threatening
diagnosis to prioritize their health, cite frustrations with primary

BOCA RATON, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Baby boomers believe in the value of prevention, but many of America’s
most influential generation are taking a reactive, and sometimes risky,
approach when it comes to managing their health, as revealed by the
first MDVIP
Boomer Health Survey
released today.

The national survey of 1,049 baby boomers, conducted by the independent
market research firm Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of MDVIP,
shows that while 94 percent of boomers believe preventive care is an
important part of staying healthy, three out of four say they should be
doing more to better manage their health (74 percent). Half of boomers
(46 percent) say they don’t exercise regularly, and more than a third
say they don’t eat healthy (35 percent) or get sufficient sleep (37
percent, 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night).

More than 75 million baby boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964 –
are now living in the United States. This aging population is expected
to live longer than their parents’ generation, but with higher rates of
chronic illness which can lead to diminished quality of life in their
later years. MDVIP commissioned the research to better understand
boomers’ perceptions and concerns related to their current health, and
how primary care experiences are influencing their overall well-being.

Reactive Mindset: The Waiting Game

What would motivate boomers to get on a healthier track? Though 73
percent of those surveyed report suffering from a chronic health
condition, almost half (43 percent) are playing the “waiting game,”
saying it would take an unexpected, life-threatening diagnosis for them
to invest more in staying healthy. Additionally, 14 percent say a friend
or family member’s health scare would be an impetus for change. Other
motivators are having an expert create a clear plan tailored to helping
them achieve their health goals (28 percent), and having a strong
support system of friends, family and mentors to encourage them (25
percent). About 17 percent claim nothing would motivate them, believing
they have little control over their future health.

“The survey findings show that boomers have a greater health
consciousness than previous generations, but also expose the
discrepancies between what boomers know they should be doing to stay
healthy versus the reality,” said Dr. Bernard Kaminetsky, Medical
Director and a founding physician for MDVIP. “A health scare or serious
illness is frequently the first wake-up call for people, but many
chronic conditions plaguing boomers today – from diabetes to
cardiovascular disease – are often preventable. This is where good
primary care plays a key role, by helping patients identify their risk
factors early and influencing the necessary lifestyle changes in order
to mitigate, and even prevent, disease.”

The Pains of Primary Care

The gap between boomer beliefs and behavior may be linked to
shortcomings in primary care, with nearly half of the respondents (45
percent) reporting frustrations with their primary care experience. The
findings revealed:

  • The top three frustrations about visiting their primary care physician
    are waiting while in the office to see the doctor (32 percent), the
    limited time they actually have with the doctor (26 percent) and
    trying to get an appointment (18 percent).
  • 31 percent report that they typically spend more time sitting in the
    waiting room than they actually spend with their doctor, and 28
    percent say that they spend more time getting their car oil changed
    than they do with their doctor.
  • 30 percent have had to track down their doctor’s office to get test
  • 23 percent say their doctor isn’t available when they need him/her.
  • Many boomers feel their doctor doesn’t really know them, with 31
    percent doubting their doctor would recognize them on the street.
  • More than a third (36 percent) have taken action as a result of these
    frustrations, including 27 percent who have changed or have thought
    about changing their primary care doctor.
  • For most boomers, the actual experience of visiting their primary care
    doctor is a chore: 45 percent compare it to grocery shopping, 11
    percent to airport security and 10 percent to waiting in line at
    Disney. Only a quarter (25 percent) say their actual experience is
    like talking with a trusted advisor.
  • 18 percent compare conversations with their doctor to talking to a
    boss who is running late.
  • When asked what they would most value in their primary care doctor, 62
    percent say visits that don’t feel hurried and last as long as needed;
    50 percent want a physician with a kind and compassionate bedside
    manner; and 39 percent want a physician who focuses more on prevention
    and wellness, not just treating them when they’re sick.

“These insights highlight the increasing challenges of traditional,
volume-based medicine that are driving more consumers to look for
healthcare alternatives,” said Bret Jorgensen, Chairman and CEO of
MDVIP. “Many people want and need a close relationship with their
doctor, who knows them well, customizes a plan to optimize their overall
health, and has the ability to intervene and coach along the way. This
is the cornerstone of the MDVIP model, which was launched 15 years ago
to provide patients with more personalized, proactive care. Data shows
that patients who are actively engaged in their health and have better
relationships with their doctor are achieving improved outcomes and
better management of chronic conditions.”

Better Health Outcomes

Hospitalizations are the largest cost drivers to the healthcare system.
The American Journal of Managed Care published a study
that showed dramatic reductions in hospitalizations for MDVIP Medicare
and commercially insured patients, as well as lower hospital readmission
rates. MDVIP members also report satisfaction scores that are nearly
40 percent higher
than traditional primary care practices.

About the Survey

The MDVIP Boomer Health Survey was conducted August 25 – 31, 2015, via
an online interview, in English, by Ipsos Public Affairs, a
non-partisan, objective, survey-based research firm. The sample was
composed of 1,049 U.S. adults between the ages of 51 and 69 who have a
primary care doctor or have seen a primary care doctor in the past five
years. An additional group of 407 boomers were interviewed in the New
York metro area. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to
online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other
sources of error, including, but not limited to, coverage error and
measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the
effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured
using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility
interval of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points for all respondents. For
more information about Ipsos online polling methodology, please visit


MDVIP, Inc. is the national leader in affordable personalized healthcare
offered by over 830 affiliated primary care physicians across the United
States who are committed to empowering people to take charge of their
health. MDVIP physicians limit the size of their practices in order to
invest the time needed to provide highly individualized service and
attention, including a comprehensive preventive care program and
customized wellness plan. Published outcomes comparing MDVIP members to
patients in traditional primary care practices include lower
hospitalization rates, which yield significant cost savings to patients,
employers, insurers and the healthcare system. Celebrating its 15th
anniversary this year, MDVIP was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in
Boca Raton, Florida. For more information, visit,,
@mdvip on Twitter or

MDVIP Medical Director Dr. Bernard Kaminetsky and MDVIP Chairman and
CEO Bret Jorgensen are available for interviews.


Nancy Udell, 561-310-5455
Monreal-Feil, 954-401-9931
Mohring, 804-675-8197