Thursday, September 25, 2014

Managing Your Healthcare


How much time did you take to research the last car you bought?  Maybe you went to a few car dealership websites then drove to the car dealership and test drove a couple of different cars.  Overall you probably spent three hours at the dealership and two to three hours researching the type of vehicle you would like to purchase. 
Now think about how much time did you spend deciding where to go for your last visit to the Doctor's office.  If you are like most of us we base our decision on the clinic that is most convenient.  However this may not be the best idea.  

The treatment given to a patient can vary significantly depending on which health care providers they use. 
Research suggests that some cost-effective treatments are not used as often as they should be, while overutilization occurs with other health care services. Unnecessary treatments increase costs and can cause patients unnecessary anxiety. The use of prescription drugs varies significantly by geographic region.
Fortunately there are many resources available to help patients determine the best health care.  For example the Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety sponsors a campaign, "You: Your Own Best Medicine".  
On their website ,.http://ownbestmedicine.mn/, you can find information about prescription medications and how to prepare for your next Doctor's visit. 

Secondly, according to research study conducted by Paul A London and Associates, "Primary care physicians (including internists and pediatricians) have estimated 
that 10 percent or more of visits to their offices were unnecessary and could have 
been avoided by self-management of healthcare, including the use of over the counter medicines for minor ailments.  

The average total payment for a visit where the patient saw a doctor was $199, including $28 in out-of-pocket (OOP) costs.   If one-half of the visits that primary care physicians report as unnecessary could  be avoided by greater self-management of healthcare including more use of Over The Counter medicines, it would save consumers and taxpayers $5.2 billion annually. The shortage of primary care physicians in the United States is becoming 
increasingly problematic. Reducing unnecessary visits from 10 percent to 5 
percent (by 26.3 million visits annually) would save overburdened doctors almost 
a half hour per day, allowing them to focus on more urgent patient needs."


Resources:

http://ownbestmedicine.mn/
Article Title:
How To Be 'Your Own Best Medicine'
Website Title:
Your Own Best Medicine

http://www.londonandassociatesinc.com/aboutus.html
rticle Title:London & Associates, Inc.