With slashing reimbursements, busy workloads, and less and less time to devote to face to face patient consult, physicians attention and focus have never been more compromised. Which is why we put together these 5 key questions to help you maximize the quality of the conversation with your doctor. Here they are:
Doctors speak fast, in jargon, and are always pressed for time. When it comes to your treatment that’s just a bad combo. Make sure you don’t get rushed or say yes to things you didn’t understand; and be very clear on his instructions, especially regarding meds.
This question serves 2 purposes, 1. it informs you of actual treatment options you may not be aware of, and 2. It lets you know if your doctor is up to date with the latest treatment and technologies related to your condition.
Again, the more you understand your condition the more you can fight it. Doctors are usually very in tune with what’s new and where to get disease specific information. Use this wealth of access to your advantage.
Most doctors are clueless about costs and access based on insurance benefits, but most of them will work with you if presented with options. If you can’t afford a prescription for ex, consider an alternative. If you have Medicaid and need help at home for personal care, homemaker, or respite services, then he may suggest talking to a care manager or a home health agency that would know how to get you the help you need at home. But be up front and clear about your financial situation.
Privacy has always been a key factor in the doctor-patient relationship. In fact, you would tell your doctor things in confidence that you won’t say when someone else is present. So if you need to ask someone to step out in order to be more comfortable, don’t hesitate, everyone will understand.
Use these questions as a guideline, you don’t have to follow them to the letter or even ask all of them. Ask the ones that you feel apply best and go from there.
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–Claudio Alegre is the Chief Content Writer for Angel Home Care Services on the Web and Patient and Family Relations Advocate off the Web. He lives in Miami with his wife and 3 boys.
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