By Christopher Wolfington
Patients play a key role in every aspect of healthcare delivery. Good health doesn’t just happen by itself, taking an active and primary role in your healthcare deliberations is the best way to get top quality care, decrease overall healthcare costs and stay healthy. An active healthcare patient doesn’t just ask their doctors the right questions; an active healthcare patient practices self-care, utilizes resources and is knowledgeable about processes. By becoming a smarter healthcare patient, you can make better decision that will have a positive impact on you physical, and financial health.
Select providers carefully
How much time do you take to consider buying a new vehicle or appliance? Most people spend several days or at least several hours determining the best fit and most cost-effective solution before making a major purchase. Taking the same amount of time and care when selecting your Primary Care Physician (PCP) will benefit you greatly. Feel free to seek recommendations from family and friends, look through your health plan for physicians that are in-network, and decide what you actually want from a PCP. Once you have narrowed down your list, here are a few other questions you may wish to ask to help you make your decision:
Imagine shopping online and comparing prices and sellers to find the best product and price. This is common practice among consumers. So why would you not adopt the same practices for choosing your primary care physician? Doing so will benefit you tremendously. Knowing exactly what you want from your Primary care physician can help you get a better idea of which doctor to see. You may also want to consider:
- Whether the physician is in your network
- Office hours and policy for afterhours care
- The team, and whether they have specialists
- What hospital they use
- Average wait times and ease of appointment booking
Look for ways to save
Saving money is important to patients, especially in a time when large surprise bills happen often and can put patients in a tight spot financially. The good news is there are many ways to save money in regard to seeking care.
- Always review medical bills. Studies show that up 10 7 out of 10 medical billings have some sort of error Be cost-effective when it comes to your health. Find the right physicians office for your conditions and save on large hospital bills. Make sure to check that whatever place you do go is covered by your insurance to avoid surprise billings.
- Look for ways to save on prescriptions. Often times there will be generic equivalent drugs that can treat you the same for less money. There may be mail order options that can save you a fee.
It’s everyone’s responsibility to avoid medical errors, but you can always take a primary role by asking questions, making concerns known, doing independent research and keeping track of all medical happenings in your life. Always choose a physician that has the proper experience and understands your needs as a patient. Being a smart healthcare consumer will impact your medical and financial life for the better.