As we step into the year 2016 let’s take a moment and prioritize what’s important to you and plan accordingly. As a Patient Advocate my priorities are getting the best possible care for my patients. With that said I’d like to open the door on how you can achieve the best quality of care for you and your loved ones.
I’m sure this will be no surprise but Healthcare is a business. So when dealing with a business you wouldn’t accept anything less than quality service and quality products. This is where your change for the New Year comes in. Look at your health as you would a leaky roof (for lack of a better analogy). When it rains your ceiling is wet, water is coming through and dripping onto the floor below. There’s potentially a couple scenarios with the leaky roof. 1) The roof needs to be replaced, 2) drywall needs to be replaced, 3) potential mold (this is simplification of a leaky roof). Now onto finding the right contractor. You get references from family, friends, neighbors, and reputable grading / certification sites (just to name a few). You call contractors to set up appointments to receive an estimate on what the problem is, what will fix the problem and what the cost will be. Typically you don’t stop at one quote you might get 2 to 3 quotes. In receiving these quotes you look for knowledge, honesty and capability to get the job done correctly.
This is where you need to take your consumer qualities you have in finding the right roofer to finding the right Doctor that will give you the best care possible.
Healthcare Consumer 101
Know your insurance policy (what’s covered, what’s not, out of pocket expenses and any added fee’s) Don’t expect your Doctor’s office to know your policy, sometimes they don’t and mistakes are made typically not in your favor.
Ask for the cash price (it may be less than your insurance price)
Referrals (ask around for the right Doctor. You may be referred to one Doctor and that Doctor refers you to another and so on until you reach the right Doctor. Don’t be discouraged it’s a process to find the care you deserve.)
Take care of yourself (proper nutrition, exercise, sleep and take advantage of your 10 Healthcare benefits). https://www.healthcare.gov/blog/10-health-care-benefits-covered-in-the-health-insurance-marketplace/
Interview your Doctor (have a list of questions concerning your health and ask for the Doctors game plan for your health)
Ask if the procedure or service you received has a warranty (you’d be surprised that some services and procedures do have a warranty).
Now that you have your key to being a Healthcare consumer go out and get the best possible care you deserve. Yes, when it comes to one’s health there’s a lot of emotions that can potentially make it overwhelming and confusing try to step back and remember even thou this is your health your still a consumer that deserves the right to choose.