If you plan to be savvy about your health access, you may want to know how to make an informed decision. All of which may assist in optimizing your outcome and saving significant money. The following information does not suggest you delay or postpone any aspect of your care when necessary, such as in the case of emergency. You may want to perform the following tasks to support your goal for informed decisions with your doctor, including the following.
- Selecting Your Doctor
- Choosing Quality Care
- Q and A with Your Doctor for Health Screening or Condition Onset
- The Top Questions to Ask Your Doctor
Regardless of your insurance plan or lack thereof, you may want to select your doctor with the aid of research. Each doctor has a unique armory of tools and techniques. Many physicians focus their practice on specific areas of expertise. Knowing how to conduct research may simplify the choices you make and may optimize your outcome.
You may want to know about tips to set your agenda for quality care and the documents you may want to review. As Dr. Steven Weinberger, Executive Vice President & CEO of the American College of Physicians in Philadelphia, PA. adds, “What should drive care is what provides the greatest benefit to patients with the least harm. Patients and their physicians need to have an open, honest communication about potential benefits and risks of care.” Learn about helping to meet these objectives in the Choosing Quality Care link above. The treatment options available to you may depend upon a variety of factors, including:
- your age, overall health, and medical history
- your signs and symptoms
- diagnostic test results
- your expected tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- your expectations for managing the course of the disease, such as coping skills to manage recovery and a suboptimal outcome should one arise
- your physician’s opinion or preference, and/or select hospitals preference or access to certain technologies and therapies
- your opinion or preference
You may want to develop you own questions to ask your doctor. We have some ideas based on turning to leaders in medicine to bring you top questions to ask your doctor in various medical specialties. Click on the link above for the top Questions for Your Doctor.
If your proposed tests, diagnosis, and treatment plan will not conclusively result in a positive outcome, it may be important to encourage the admitting physician or surgeon to involve others with your care, such as, a different type of Board Certified Medical Specialist or Internal Medicine Physician. When in doubt, you may seek out a second opinion.
Many medical conditions require an interdisciplinary approach. You may make a request with the medical specialist or admitting physician who sees you to have your medical records prepared and ready for you upon discharge, particularly if the following applies.
- If your condition requires a physician consultation, diagnostic tests, or treatment outside the hospital within 24 hours to seven days.
It is vitally important to follow the discharge summary that directs you to the next doctor or medical specialty area you should see by the time that you are directed to do so on the document.
Your Heath Access Alert
Your Primary Care Physician, Internal Medicine Physician or Family Physician may be in the best position to coordinate complex care and help ensure costs are contained. This does not mean that your costs may not be equally or more so contained by seeking out a medical specialist of your choice when you feel you need one. If you are admitted to a hospital, the medical specialist who relates to your care need will be overseeing your care and coordinating the introduction of other medical specialists, as he or she deems necessary.
Medical costs may vary widely. It is important to understand your insurance policy benefits, including: exclusions, limitations and deductibles. Your deductible is the amount you have to pay before your insurance benefits kick in to absorb the balance of costs.
Out-of-pocket costs for diagnostic tests may be significantly lower at physician’s offices with in-house labs, Urgent Care Facilities and Outpatient Medical Diagnostic Centers for Imaging tests when compared to hospitals. Select online labs that have board certified physician panels may further reduce out-of-pocket lab costs in U.S. states where possible.
It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered a specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition.Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.