Here’s what you need to know about making our healthcare system work for you.
When you’re sick or injured, you need to seek professional medical help right away. But that can be an intimidating prospect under America’s healthcare system, which is just as confusing as it is expensive. It is easy to feel frustrated, overwhelmed, and even hopeless when navigating this system.
Below, we’ll lay out three tips for getting more out of our healthcare system while protecting yourself. From saving money on bills to protecting your rights when you are wronged by a healthcare professional, here’s what you need to know about making our healthcare system work for you.
You may not have to pay that bill in full
There are a lot of frustrating things about our modern healthcare system, but one looms particularly large: our system is very expensive. The unfortunate truth is that healthcare costs are too high for many Americans to afford, especially considering how little cash most Americans have on hand for emergencies. It’s no wonder, really, that medical debt is the cause of so many bankruptcies.
But here’s a little secret that could help you out: calling hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies about bills could help you save money. Believe it or not, you can sometimes haggle down the price of a medical bill. Asking questions may also uncover errors that caused your costs to be too high.
It won’t work every time, but being proactive and questioning bills can go a long way toward making our pricey healthcare system a little bit more affordable. It costs nothing to try, so call up your insurance company, doctor, or hospital and make your case.
Your information can move quickly and safely — but you need to protect it
Modern technologies and networks have made things much more convenient in our healthcare system. If you switch doctors or go from your primary care physician to a specialist, your new doctor may be able to access your information and medical history with the help of a health information exchange like Hixny. These services may also allow you to access your health information from a computer at home or on the go.
But protecting your private health information takes a lot. The health exchanges work hard to keep your data safe from leaks, hackers, and errors. You should take the same steps. Keep passwords secure, don’t leave your health data visible on your computer or on paper, and invest in a paper shredder. You should shred medical and financial documents that you’re throwing out.
The law protects you as a patient
Your doctors have taken an oath, and they are committed to doing the right thing for your health — or, at least, they should be committed to that. The fact of the matter is that the medical field has bad actors in it, just like every other career space. Fortunately, you have options if your doctor or another health professional does you wrong.
If you suffer due to negligence in the healthcare space, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, explains Howard Fensterman, an attorney with expertise in the healthcare space. Attorneys like Fensterman help victims of malpractice, and one could help you recover funds to compensate you for unnecessary medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Hopefully, you’ll never need the help of a malpractice attorney. But, like the other things we’ve laid out here, this is important to know as you navigate our country’s often tricky healthcare system