15 Ways To Get Better Medicine

Be a Savvy Medical Consumer

The need to be a savvy medical consumer is especially important if you are in a consumer-directed health plan, such as a medical savings account, because these plans place more responsibility for health care on your shoulders. Take a step

Take Part in Every Medical Decision

Well-informed people who play a significant role in deciding how they’re going to treat their health conditions are likely to feel better about the decision process. They are also more likely to make decisions that support their values, stick with their treatments, and rate the results of treatments as better than those who aren’t involved. Take a step

Find Dr. Right

Your relationship with your doctor is one of the most important in your life. You should be able to trust your physician with your most private health issues or problems and should feel certain he or she is your ally. Take a step

Communicate With Your Health Care Provider

When you and your health care provider communicate well regarding health and personal issues, your health benefits. You and your provider become partners in meeting your health care needs. You feel free to ask for more information and discuss the risks and benefits of your treatment options. Take a step

Be An Active Patient

Active patients participate as partners in their health care with their doctors and other providers. They don't make health care decisions on their own, but they're in charge of the process because they schedule appropriate visits to their health care providers, plan ahead to get the most out of those visits, and learn about their conditions and medications. Take a step

Make Better Treatment Decisions

Millions of Americans receive medical treatments that are unnecessary, costly and even harmful to their health, according to recent studies. On the other hand, millions of Americans don't get the treatments they need. Take a step

Control Your Medical Costs

The health care decisions you make have a big impact on your life and your wallet. To get the best value for your health care dollar, the first step is to understand your plan. Take a step

Compare Hospital Costs

Each year, more public and private institutions are providing health care consumers with higher-quality information and cost data to help them choose hospitals and other care facilities. Take a step

Evaluate Your Providers' Service

What does good-quality health care mean to you? It may mean being able to get an appointment with your health care provider quickly, having a health care provider who is willing to spend time with you, or being treated nicely by the staff at his or her office. Take a step

Control Surgical Costs

Hospital stays make up more than half of all health care costs. One way to cut your medical costs is to avoid surgery. You can't always do this, though. Here are ideas from the American College of Surgeons and other experts to keep more money in your pocket. Take a step

Cut Your Hospital Bills

Even if you have health insurance, being hospitalized can cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Although you may not be able to avoid a hospital stay, there are ways to trim the expenses. Take a step

Hold Down Specialist Costs

Your health care provider can provide most of the care you and your family need. You may be advised to see a specialist, however, if you have a condition your health care provider can’t treat, such as heart disease or cancer. Take a step

Plan for Long-Term Care

Most older people are independent. But later in life, you or someone you love may need help with everyday activities, such as shopping, cooking and bathing. "The good news is that people have many choices in long-term care." says Terrie T. Wetle, Ph.D., professor of medical science at Brown University. Take a step

Plan Ahead for Scheduled or Elective Surgery

Being scheduled for surgery can be frightening. People who prepare mentally and physically before their operations are likely to have fewer complications, less pain, and a quicker recovery than those who don't prepare, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Take a step

Choose Optimal Medical Care and Better Medicine

To get the best medical care you can, you should be an informed patient who works closely with your health care provider. To get the most from a doctor visit, follow this advice from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ): Take a Step

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