Find Your Engagement Level
How engaged are you as a patient consumer? Are you an active participant in your own health and healthcare? Your level of activation plays an important role in your overall health. This assessment provides you with a look at how passive or active of a role you currently take and provides tips on how you can improve.
Review State Scorecards
Our parent organization, the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, has developed scorecards around issues such as physician quality transparency and cost transparency. The goal is to make this kind of information easy to access and use, since most healthcare providers do not offer this data willingly. After all, lack of transparency is the reason so many patients today are experiencing issues with our healthcare system!
Be an Engaged Patient
You’ve been hearing the term “engaged patient” but what does this really mean? It means asking questions, understanding your condition well, collaborating in your own care, and always knowing why a certain test or treatment may – or may not – be right for you. Here are some tips.
Never be afraid to engage with your doctors and ask questions. Write down your questions before you go to the doctor, and make sure you understand the answers. Doctors are very busy, so respect their time and go in prepared.
Switch physicians if you can’t get answers. Most doctors want you to be an active participant in your care. If your doctor seems annoyed by your questions or tries to evade them, it may be time to find another one.
Recognize and question wasteful spending. Does the price of a medical good or service seem absurdly high? Fight back. Maybe you can get your bill reduced or help save the next patient from the same fate. If you have a story you’d like to share, tell us about it here.
Ask your doctor why every test and procedure is necessary. Americans waste billions of dollars every year on tests and treatment they don’t need. Before you agree to anything, make sure you know why it’s necessary and what it is designed accomplish.
Get costs up front. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s often impossible. But real pricing information is slowly becoming more accessible. Organizations like ClearHealthCosts, Change Healthcare, and Healthcare Blue Book are good places to start.
Be your own advocate; no one else can do it for you. Doctors, hospitals, drug and device makers, and others all have powerful organizations lobbying on their behalf. You have ... yourself. So get informed, speak up, and use your patient power. Learn more on this in our Join The Fight section.