Stop Taking Shortcuts with Your Health
Keeping yourself healthy isn’t always easy, but here’s why it’s worth the time and effort.
Taking good care of your body isn’t easy. You have to eat right, get enough sleep, find time to exercise, manage your mental health, take your medication, and keep up with your medical and dental appointments, among other things.
If you’re also responsible for children or other family members, you may feel like you have a never-ending healthcare to-do list. Tempted to cut corners and look for shortcuts? Don’t be. Your health is your most valuable asset, and it deserves your full attention.
9 Ways You’ll Get Better Health Care If You Stop Taking Shortcuts
- Visit your doctors in person whenever possible. A telehealth visit may seem easier and more convenient on a busy workday, but your doctor will have a more comprehensive understanding of your health if they see you in person. In-person visits are especially important if you need a second opinion on a new diagnosis.
- Use your money and resources wisely. If you have the ability to pay out of pocket for private healthcare services, such as concierge doctors, executive health programs, and health advisory, make the most of these options. Consider paying privately for additional services if they are needed. Doctors usually prescribe 2-3 sessions of physical therapy a week because that is what insurance will cover. Would paying for more sessions improve your results?
- Be open to traveling further to visit a top doctor. When you’re searching for doctors, do you only consider the ones located within a 5-mile drive? If you’re willing to travel a longer distance to get a haircut than you are to see a doctor, ask yourself why.
- Be willing to visit a doctor who is outside of your insurance network. Just because a doctor isn’t in your network doesn’t mean they’re off limits to you. It may be worth visiting them, especially if it’s just for a consultation, even if you have to pay the out-of-network rate.
- Before visiting your doctor, make sure they have any records they need. If you’re seeing a new doctor, arrange to have your medical records, including any recent test results, sent to them before you visit. This takes extra work on your part, but it puts your provider in a position to succeed.
- Go to your appointments. Missing or rescheduling an appointment may feel like it’s no big deal, but the best doctors have very busy schedules — and you may not be able to get another appointment for months. If that means a diagnosis is delayed, the missed appointment could have a major impact on your health.
- Do your research to find a doctor that’s right for you. This isn’t just about the doctor’s training and area of expertise, though of course those matter. It’s about their personality and whether you trust them and feel comfortable talking with them. If you don’t have the time to do the research on your own, work with a health advisor. They will identify providers who are a good match for your specific needs.
- If you don’t like the doctor you’re seeing, find someone else. Don’t settle for a doctor you don’t like or who is too busy to see you. The right doctor will treat you with respect and listen to your concerns. The best time to change doctors is when nothing serious is happening medically.
- Login to the patient portal. When you visit a doctor or healthcare facility for the first time, they will usually send you an invitation to their online patient portal. Take the time to set up your account. This is often a convenient way to make appointments, check test results, and ask your doctor a quick question.
Instead of taking shortcuts with your health, consider working with an expert health advisor who can coordinate your healthcare, communicate with your providers on your behalf, and provide ongoing guidance and support.