Patient advocacy is SO important. Here’s why…
Now, more than ever in this country, physicians and other healthcare providers are pushed to see more patients in a shorter amount of time as reimbursement rates have drastically changed over the years.
I recently spoke to one physician who told me that her income as an ER physician has decreased by 25% since the beginning of her career twenty-five years ago.
What this means for patients is that physicians have less time to meet with you in order to maintain the lifestyles that they once did because they have to see more patients in less time. This means that they have more patient data to keep in their heads, less time to answer all of your questions, and less time to help you think through your next steps if you have a diagnosis that needs a second opinion or greater explanation.
The truth is, there just isn’t enough time.
Sadly, this means that you, the patient will suffer. Because you have less time with your providers, you need to be efficient with that time. You need to have a pertinent list of questions to go in asking. You need to remember to ask for an email address so if you have follow-up questions you can reach your provider, rather than having to wait to schedule another appointment a month from now because you can’t reach them and you forgot to ask about something.
This also means that you will most likely be seen by multiple care providers within one healthcare office in order to help make your physician’s time more efficient for billing purposes. This means that things sometimes get lost in translation, similar to the game “telephone” because things are handed off between various entities at a fast pace, and we all know the saying that “haste can make waste.”
This is your HEALTH we’re talking about here, not something insignificant.
You need an advocate with you so that you aren’t just a number, you get all of your questions asked, and you aren’t rushed or lost in the healthcare shuffle. These are just some of the reasons that we can ALL benefit from having a patient advocate with us while we navigate this complex system.
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