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Health Ambitions Survey: Health Study Reveals Consumers Want More Choice, Easier Access to Care

People are searching for ways to increase their overall well-being, including boosting mental health and reducing stress, and they want their doctors to play an integral role in achieving that, according to a recent Aetna study.

The 2018 Aetna Health Ambitions Study found that consumers want doctors who understand what’s important to them, offer guidance about setting health goals, help coordinate their care, and provide office appointments when they need them.

“The findings of this inaugural survey confirm Aetna’s approach to providing access to tailored consumer-centric health care,” said Aetna president Karen Lynch. “People clearly need to feel supported in their health care journeys and engaged and empowered to make their own health decisions.”

Transforming health care in the U.S. means understanding the health ambitions of both consumers and providers. So Aetna launched this innovative and ambitious survey to learn what people expected from their health care system, what kind of relationship they wanted with their doctors, and what they aspired to achieve in their own health.

The survey was conducted by Market Measurement, a custom market research firm. The consumer survey comprised 1,000 responses from consumers 18 and older. The physician survey comprised 400 responses divided among 200 primary care doctors and 200 specialists, with at least two years of experience.

Aetna will release results of the survey throughout the year, and will use the data to understand the opportunities to meet the demands of a changing health industry.

According to the survey, nearly two-thirds of people said that if given an extra hour in the day, they would spend it on well-being activities. More than a third said they have either a stress reduction goal (40 percent) or a mental health goal (36 percent).

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The survey also showed that doctors play a critical role in supporting patients’ holistic health goals. More than 80 percent of consumers said it’s important that their primary care physician be familiar with their mental health history and their ability to deal with stress. About a third of all people said that direct conversations with a health and wellness specialist would help them achieve their goals.


Doctors understand that community resources help their patients successfully navigate their health care…

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…But patients are still looking for more help from their doctors to achieve their health goals.


Lifestyle habits that could impact health

Health goals

Mental health history

Ability to deal with stress

Overall level of happiness and life satisfaction


“Each person has unique health goals,” said Lynch. “Working side-by-side with our members and their providers to offer accessible, affordable, highly personalized and local care is the best formula to help our members achieve their health and well-being goals.”

Click Here for more findings from the Health Ambitions Study.
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