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10 Ways You Can Be A Wise Healthcare Consumer

According to the American Institute for Preventive Medicine, Americans spend more time researching car purchases and new appliances than they do choosing doctors and health plans.

February is National Wise Health Care Consumer Month, and it's all about helping people make smart choices when it comes to their health care. Campbell County Health in Wyoming wants you to check out these 10 tips below to help you become a wiser health care consumer.

  1. Take Your Time: Choosing the right healthcare providers for you and your family is important. Take your time to read about doctors at www.cchwyo.org/findadoc and ask loved ones for recommendations.
  2. Understand Your Coverage Plan: Whether you get your medical insurance coverage through Medicare/Medicaid, your employer, or another source, it’s vital for you to completely understand your benefits.
  3. Practice Preventative Health in Your Home: The best medicine is prevention. Get health screenings when recommended, and use our Wellness blood draws and health screening services.
  4. Keep Your Yearly Checkup Visits: Annual wellness checks with your doctor can help identify any issues early, while treatment is easier.
  5. Ask About Generics: If your prescriptions cost you a small fortune, you may be able to save money by switching to a generic brand. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if a cheaper version of your medication is available and safe for you.
  6. Prepare for Appointments: Before an appointment, write a list of questions you have for your healthcare provider and take it with you. Also bring a list of any medications you take and your dosage.
  7. Take an Active Role in Appointments: Your relationship with your healthcare provider should be just that – a relationship. If your doctor doesn’t bring up something you want to discuss, feel free to bring it up. Feel free to ask questions at any time.
  8. Don’t Hide Information: It is not your doctor’s job to judge or incriminate you; they are there to help. Be sure to be honest about your personal life because it can affect your care.
  9. Call for Your Results: If you haven’t heard from your doctor about results and you’re getting concerned, go ahead and call. The staff should be happy to help. You can also get your results online for many tests on the My Health Home patient portal.
  10. Don’t Go It Alone: If you can, take a trusted loved one to appointments. He or she can help you remember all the information your doctor provides and ask relevant questions.

BONUS: ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION: Any good doctor would rather see you and it turns out to be nothing than not see you and it turns out to be something. Healthcare professionals don’t judge you for being proactive about your health.