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Ever noticed how some health care providers dismiss their patients as if to say, “There isn’t any possible way you can know more about your personal health experience than I can. Why don’t you let me handle this?” We certainly hope this has never happened to you, but, unfortunately, this is a rather common experience within the current health care model. In a physician-centered model of care, what the doctor says goes, end of the story. There is no room for questions. You don’t get to have a say in your own treatment plan. Innova Primary Care believes that this is no way to practice medicine.
Thankfully, medicine is shifting towards a patient-centered model that creates a framework that is beneficial to both the patient and physician. Why does this matter to you? Well, many patients find themselves on the healthcare conveyor belt, stuck in patterns that no longer serve them. They are victims of a system that treats them robotically without consideration for individual needs.
This has to stop.
The reality is your situation is your very own. No one else has your DNA. Innova believes this wholeheartedly.
No one else has your life experiences. You are uniquely made, and this means that what works for someone else won’t necessarily work for you. And vice versa. Healthcare isn’t one size fits all. However, we see so many patients who are used to being treated like just another nameless, faceless number. Many patients are stuck in a cycle of sameness and don’t know how to get out. They have medical providers who are not fully engaged or invested in their best interests. Patients come to believe that this is how medicine works. Physicians who are unwilling to change, in turn, perpetuate the cycle. Innova Primary Care believes this is an outdated way of caring for patients, and we are committed to making a change.
Does this healthcare experience sound familiar to you? If so, you, the patient, have power in your hands to change the system from the inside out. You do not have to remain in a practice that treats you like everyone else. We believe primary care physicians have the same responsibilities. Our current broken system will not change without both patients and doctors taking responsibility and working together to move forward.
But how? How can you, as a patient, begin to take the reins and be a part of the change you seek? How do you step off the healthcare conveyor belt and onto the staircase that leads to a better way? We are so glad you asked.
In short, information is the key to change. When you know better, you do better. Again, this principle applies to physicians and patients alike. This may sound so simple, but knowledge is power. When you raise the bar and believe that you are worth more than 5-minute visits that leave you more confused than before, the game begins to change. Unfortunately, we have found that many patients do not know what to ask.
Many patients aren’t invited to participate in their own care. They meet with their doctor for a brief moment, accept a prescription, and are sent on their way. This doesn’t sound like a great plan to us. Are you concerned that the treatment plan created for you is not in your best interests? Do you want to know if there is another way? If so, ask about it.
Here are some examples to get your mind rolling:
These are just a sampling of the questions you can ask with regard to treatment plans. The more information you have, the better equipped you are to make an informed decision. If your current physician does not take the time to talk in-depth with you about your options, it may be time to see care from somewhere else.
Next up is insurance. No matter where you stand on the issue, insurance is a current necessity and large corporations often dictate who and what gets coverage. Did you know everyone has a risk score? Your age, gender, previous health conditions, current diagnoses, etc. all play a part in your score. Have you ever asked your physician about that?
Did you know that when you create gaps in care when you do not follow through with referrals or treatments prescribed to you by your healthcare provider? This gap score affects you and your primary care physician. Have you ever inquired about the gaps in your personal care and what you can do to alleviate them?
Unfortunately, insurance is incredibly esoteric, and the population at large is left unaware when it comes to their care. Your health care provider should be willing and able to discuss insurance questions with you. If they won’t, perhaps you should reevaluate your relationship with them.
It may feel daunting to begin to take more control over your care, but you can do this. Innova Primary Care strongly believes in empowering our patients, and your doctor should care too. Now is the time to begin investing in your health care needs.