Wise health care consumer

February is National Wise Health Consumer Month

We all want to live and to live well.  And in any health care situation knowledge is power.  Being informed can make all the difference – you can let go of your worries and anxieties and focus on living.  February is National Wise Health Consumer Month and being prepared is the most important step to becoming a wise consumer and patient.  Here are a few tips that Dr. Hessel recommends to be health care savvy this month and for the rest of your life.

Are you a wise consumer?

  • Select the right doctor.  How do you find the best one for you?  Take the time to carefully select your doctor.  Here are a few basic questions to ask
  • Are they recommended by someone you know?
  • Do they participate in your health insurance plan?
  • Do they have convenient hours, parking, and locations?
  • Are they accepting new patients?
  • How quickly can you schedule your first appointment?
  • Be prepared for your visit.  Make a list of questions to ask your doctor, take notes during your visit and ask for explanations that you fully understand.
  • Make a list of all medications you are currently taking.  This is especially important if you are seeing more than one doctor.
  • Keep up with routine medical tests and examinations.  Prevention is key and early detection is critical.  By following recommended guidelines you may avoid costly and unnecessary tests.
  • Understand your health insurance plan.  Find out what is covered, know your co-pays, and double check your medical bills for any possible mistakes.
  • Keep a list of doctors, hospitals, and health care agencies that are covered by your health insurance handy.
  • Use the internet as a resource, not an authority.  There is an overwhelming amount of information available on the internet – but use caution and good judgment.  And always discuss anything you find with your doctor.
  • Take care of your mental and emotional health along with your physical health.  If you are stressed or anxious this can directly affect your physical well being.
  • Make important lifestyle changes – quit smoking, eat better, limit alcohol, and exercise regularly.

Good health begins with you.  Be your own advocate and an important partner in your health care.  Take charge of your health and take charge of your life.  Dr. Hessel and her staff are prepared to help you in any way.  And as a patient and consumer, you should be ready for your visits and open to conversations about your health.  Call Dr. Hessel today, she will help plan your regular medical checkups and schedule the health screenings appropriate for your age and family history.  Dr. Hessel encourages you to be a wise health care consumer – so she can provide the excellent care you need to live wise and well.