Monthly Archives: November 2010

How to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck at Your Next Doctor’s Visit

 

Have you ever been frustrated by an unproductive or inopportune visit with your doctor that wasted your time and money?

You can prevent that from happening again!

 

The Problem

Many visits with healthcare providers are poorly timed and less productive than they could be.  Why?  Because nobody is looking out for you between visits.

It’s not that your doctor doesn’t care.  He or she is simply too busy with clinical tasks to be able to optimize your visits.

As a result, you spend more money and get suboptimal care:

  • Extra visits and additional costs at the pharmacy.
  • Incorrect or unnecessary testing and treatment.
  • Rushed decisions and explanations.
  • Some visits are so handicapped by poor planning that they accomplish nothing, wasting both your time and money.

 

It is easy to minimize the number of visits and maximize the time with your doctor.

Read on to find out how.

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Becoming Cost-Empowered

The post “Want to cut healthcare costs? You might be on your own” by Ron Shinkman at Fierce HealthFinance caught my eye, as it relates to frustrations over health care costs.

Below is the response I left as a comment on the article:

Thank you for your article, which touches on many important issues. As a physician, the point that I can best speak to is the issue of patient education and empowerment.

I agree with your conclusion that we each are largely on our own, as we are for most things. Healthcare can be considered similar to any other service or product purchased in that it is best for the consumer to arm him or herself with enough information to make an educated decision.

As you state, it is a monumental task, as even the most motivated patient will find innumerable obstacles. Physicians are pressed for time. Medical care can be complex. Patient and physician expectations are often not aligned. Cost transparency is poor. Insurance coverage is complicated. Initial focus is (appropriately) directed toward safety and quality of care, but cost often receives inadequate attention by everyone involved. Each and every entity involved shares the blame.

Unfortunately there is not an easy system-wide fix for this predicament and we are left largely on our own.

If I were to offer advice it would be threefold:

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