Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How to Talk with Your Doctor About the Quality and the Cost of Your Care


Savvy healthcare consumers ask questions. 
Some medical tests, treatments, and procedures provide little benefit and in some cases, they may even cause harm. Talk to your doctor to make sure you end up with the right amount of care - not too much and not too little.
But, what questions should you ask? I've looked at a lot of resources and believe the five question recommended by the Choosing Wisely campaign in the flier below are a good starting point. 

Interestingly, I've found that medical providers are very willing to engage in this conversation when I start by saying I have a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), so I'll be paying out of pocket for the services. As you can see in the photo, I've had a little first hand experience lately; and I've actually found our new HDHP very empowering.   

If you're interested in digging deeper, I found these articles interesting, The Consequences of “Over-Testing”: Doc, Am I Glowing in the Dark? and The $50,000 Physical that was just published in JAMA.  The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has some good resources. There are also lots of great specialty resources on the Choosing Wisely website.




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