Oct 14, 201309:40 AMOpen Mic
Send us your blog for consideration!
Can we apply good consumer habits to health care? Heck yes
(page 1 of 2)
Ponder this: Your roof suddenly starts leaking after a bad storm. First thing in the morning you call your insurance adjuster, check out potential contractors with friends, and then get a couple of bids for the job. After picking the best — but not necessarily the cheapest — bid, you’re confident your roof will be fixed right. That’s being a smart consumer, right?
Now consider this scenario: Your foot suddenly starts hurting after a vigorous weekend workout. You call your insurance company to get your coverage, get recommendations from friends, and get a couple of competitive bids to find out who can fix you up. Right? Not so much.
Unfortunately, it seems that even the smartest consumers tend to lose their intelligence when it comes to health care. We immediately rush to the clinic when our children cough, sneeze, or develop fevers rather than make a call and have a nurse triage the situation over the phone. And just like we do when we rush into a bad home improvement job, we pay the price for our bad consumerism. Our personal health care costs are out of control, and considering our behavior, we might be partially to blame.
For the most part, we can’t control when we get sick or hurt — although some would argue that we could do a better job of taking care of ourselves and taking more safety precautions to prevent illness and injury. We could quit smoking, wear our seatbelts, and eat healthier diets — just like we prevent damage to our roofs by getting the extra snow off the eaves and making sure there are no low-hanging dead branches near our house.
Okay, so let’s say we take perfect care of ourselves but we still get sick or injured. Then what? That’s when we need to be extra careful with our decisions. Whether it’s a $25,000 roof or a $25,000 foot surgery, it’s still a consumer decision, and it requires the best information. For years, the Better Business Bureau has been saying, “Check before you buy.” Once you’ve signed on the dotted line and committed to a purchase, your options quickly diminish. The best way to have a great purchase experience is to do your homework before you buy.