It was Hippocrates who said that if you are not your own doctor, you are a fool. We wouldn’t want to use such harsh words, but when it comes to your health, we agree that you have to be in control.
Far too many people used to equate their health journey with finding a good doctor (or more) who would tell them what to do and following their instructions to a T. What a doctor said or recommended was final and couldn’t be questioned. But in the past few years, people’s approach to healthcare has changed, as they came to realize that they shouldn’t rely on doctors’ expertise alone to help them achieve their health goals.
While medical providers do play an essential role in managing your health, since they have the knowledge and experience to provide the care and support that you need, there are limits to what they can do for you. As experts at Medical Negligence Assist explain, medical errors are a reality we can’t deny, and even if you can make a medical negligence claim in case you’ve been a victim of such errors, their effects can be deep and long-lasting.
That’s why you should start taking responsibility for your own health and get actively involved in the decision-making process. This will give you greater control over your healthcare experiences, helping you make more informed decisions and enjoy better outcomes.
So, if you want to become a better health advocate for yourself, these tips will help you achieve your goal.
Learn the Ins and Outs of Health Insurance
Health insurance can be quite a complex topic, with all those terms sounding like a foreign language, which is why many people haven’t got the slightest idea of how it works. And that’s how they end up paying astronomical bills for medical services.
If you want to avoid billing surprises and navigate the medical system with ease, you have to get educated on health insurance in general and figure out what your health insurance plan covers. Therefore, it’s a good idea to contact your insurance company and have them explain what your coverage implies, in a language that you understand.
Keep Your Own Health Records
Medical records are compiled and maintained by health care providers in order to keep track of your medical history. They help healthcare professionals provide their patients with the best treatments for their specific issues. But just because the management of medical records falls under the responsibility of the health institutions and health providers, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about it at all.
There’s always a risk of having your medical documents lost or destroyed by accident. When you switch doctors, having your medical records transferred from one provider to another can be a time-consuming process, not to mention some documents might get lost along the way. If you want to make sure that your records are safe and accurate, you should keep your own copies. Fortunately, technology these days makes record keeping easier than ever. You can store all your medical documents in electronic format directly on your phone and have them on hand whenever you need them.
A lot of people refrain from asking their doctors any questions because they’re afraid that might affect doctor-patient relationships, so they simply accept any treatment or procedure they recommend even if they don’t fully understand what they imply. That shouldn’t be the way things work.
When you ask your doctor health-related questions, you’re not questioning their expertise or intentions, you’re simply asking for information that can help you gain a better understanding of your health situation. Doctors and patients should work together as a team, so if you have any doubts, concerns, or if you want to find out more about a certain subject, don’t hesitate to discuss this with your doctor. You should also make a list of all the questions you want to ask your provider before you go in for an appointment to make sure you leave nothing out.
Ask for a Second Opinion
Or third, or fourth, and so on. Unfortunately, doctors are not wizards, so finding the root cause of your health problem might take more time than you expected. On your health care journey, you might need to change several providers until you find the one who can put the right diagnosis and help you treat your condition.
If you don’t trust your doctor’s diagnosis or if you feel that your health hasn’t improved after undergoing all the treatments and procedures they recommended, you should seek the opinion of another health professional. Even if you trust your doctor and you’re not questioning the diagnosis, getting a second opinion is still a good idea, just to make sure you’re on the safe side.
Always Check Your Medical Bills
Medical bills can be extremely confusing, with all the codes, descriptions, and items listed there making it difficult for patients to understand what they’re actually paying for. It’s worth taking your time to understand how the billing system works and decipher the mystery of the medical bills.
Considering medical bills are notorious for containing errors that no one seems to notice, you might want to take a closer look at your medical bill next time. Don’t assume that the calculations were done correctly. Do a bit of investigating to make sure you’re not paying extra for medical services. the outcome might surprise you.
Do Your Research
It’s true that doctors are the only ones who can diagnose you and recommend a course of treatment for your cs, but you can always find out more details regarding your condition by doing your own research. It would be a shame not to take advantage of all the information made available by technology and the internet these days to educate yourself on healthcare matters. The more you know, the easier it will be for you to advocate for your health and wellbeing.