Let a patient advocate guide you through the health care minefield

You talk to a real estate agent before purchasing a house; you hire an accountant to help you with your taxes; and you consult a life coach before making career decisions. But when it comes to your most important asset, your health, you probably blindly accept whatever your health care provider tells you or you consult with “Dr. Google.” In other words, you have a team to help you manage your wealth but you go it alone when it comes to your health. Does this sound like you? And does this make sense in today’s world?

Do you have enough benefits in your health plan to cover your hospitalization?

When you seek treatment at a doctor’s office or hospital, you will typically be asked for your health insurance information. If you have a health plan, the doctor or hospital will contact your health plan to verify whether you are a member and to verify your benefits. Often, the information received from the plan can mislead the verifier into thinking that you have more benefits than are actually available.

Get the most out of your doctor’s visit

Time and money – these are the two things that seem to hold people back from going to the doctor, unless something serious comes up. Perhaps it’s a busy schedule, or ever-rising health care deductibles and costs, as salaries lag behind. More and more, it becomes a luxury to spend time with a health care professional to actually discuss preventive measures for your health.

Patient feedback: A powerful tool when used correctly

Dr. Pauline Jose’s nurse practitioner was scrolling through their online reviews. Things were looking good. “Great doctor” and “nice” came up frequently. Suddenly, a review caught his attention. A patient had submitted a low-rated review, complaining about a “strange stain” on the doctor’s white coat. Dr. Jose, a family physician, was flabbergasted. She was used to being evaluated on her bedside manner and her diagnostic acumen, not sartorial perfection.

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