U.S. consumers rank supermarkets, fast food chains, retailers, and banks as their top performing industries for experience according to the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings.

Peoples’ experience with health plans rank at the bottom of the roster, on par with rental cars and TV/Internet service providers.

If there is any good news for health plans in this year’s Temkin Experience Ratings compared to the 2017 results, it’s at the margin of “very poor” performance: last year, health plans has the worst performance of any industry (with the bar to the furthest point on the left as “low scoring”). This year, it appears that auto dealers and airlines have fared worst on the very poor end of the customer experience spectrum.

Among the 14 health plans Temkin considered, Tricare earned the top place for customer experience in the industry. This top-ranked health plan was rated 184 out of 318 companies across the 20 industries in the overall study. Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey ranked second among the plans. While BCBS of Florida had the greatest improvement over 2017, CIGNA dropped the most.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  As an avid user of Temkin’s study each year, the research always prompts me to ask through the Health Populi lens: what would healthcare look and feel like if the best-performing supermarkets, retailers, and banks re-imagined the industry?

Consider Wegmans, which is my own favorite grocery store; I am fortunate to live within 15 minutes’ drive of four Wegmans stores in suburban Philadelphia, so I am spoiled by an embarrassment of foodie customer experience riches in my backyard. Spoiled, because for me, that experience has become a very high benchmark to which I compare other retail-facing experiences. Trader Joe’s and Aldi are also high on my list, for different reasons: eclectic, interesting food and high-value-for-money. These three stores ranked high on Temkin’s list, all in the top 15 overall.

For banking, it’s my TD Bank, which operates Sunday hours, has relatively lower fees, and a team-spirit mood when you enter the lobby.

So what would healthcare look and feel like if Wegmans and TD had their way with the industry?

Top-line, these companies’ service designs bake consumer respect into the mix: facets of that respect include good value, trained staff with positive attitudes, beautiful physical environments, and strong ties to local communities.

Furthermore, grocers and banks are playing growing roles in healthcare itself. Most consumers are seeking wellness and nutrition through food purchases, and financial wellness is bound up in overall perceptions of health. As patients take on more consumer workflows, we continue to seek solutions in our communities, and with organizations that can help us streamline our health and wellbeing. Most of the industry segments that have higher rankings in the Temkin study are already working adjacent to health/care. Industry can partner with them: consider telehealth at the grocery store, HSA fund management with a bank, medical tourism and wellness channeled through a favorite hotel chain, or prescription drugs delivered by, say, Amazon and the U.S. Postal Service.

On this note, it is timely that Temkin calls this the “Year of Humanity.” Here’s their video explaining this ethos based on three pillars: embrace diversity, extend compassion, and express appreciation.