Cost & The Healthcare Consumer:
Part - 2
The Proactive Patient
As healthcare continues to change and evolve, one thing has become clear: people have become Consumers of healthcare services, rather than just patients following the line of referrals that given to them. Whether it is the patient themselves or the drive and input of a friend or family member, people are generally more engaged in their care and often are finding information via the internet, books, magazines, or television.
In addition to seeking information related to their particular symptoms or diagnosis, they are also looking up things like:
Yes, you read that last bit right. If it is early in the calendar year and the patient has not meet their new deductible for the year, there are patients who will forego the less expensive option and go with a more expensive one to have that dollar amount put against their deductible. This is generally the person who uses a fair amount of healthcare throughout the year. Does it make sense? Maybe, I suppose it depends on the person, as at the end of the day the deductible amount paid is still the same....
Related to the realm of physical therapy, a similar mindset is often seen. Patients take into account a number of variables when deciding on a practice, a few of which are: Location of the practice, insurances accepted: are they in- or out-of-network with their insurance, prior experience, referral by physician, friend, or family member, and reputation of the practice: what are the reviews on things like Yelp or Google?
Other variables related to the Value of the services they will be receiving are also considered. Things like specialization of that facility or therapist, ease of scheduling or length of waiting time, cost of services, and the patient's perception of what they need and what the practice can provide all have an impact.
This is often seen with dancers or athletes, as their needs are much different than that of the average non-athlete patient. Knowing this is the case, it would seem like common sense then that an athlete after ACL reconstruction would not be treated the same as an elderly patient with knee pain or after a total knee replacement, right? Maybe that's not so much a common sense thing, as I hear it all the time. Athletes & Dancers become quickly frustrated because their needs are not being met, and in some cases what is needed is not identified fully.
As a dancer & athlete, if the first advice your physical therapist gives you is to take 4-6 week off and rest, please recognize that as your cue to seek out a different practice, preferable one who's therapist has sports training and experience.
In Part 1 of this topic, I noted a few common statements related to patient perceptions. I will re-post them along with my answers/comments in my next post.
Athletes Physiotherapy - Las Vegas, NV
Thank you for stopping by the Athletes Physiotherapy Blog! Kristopher Bosch founded Athletes Physiotherapy in Las Vegas, NV. He is a Father, physical therapist, athletic trainer, pilates teacher, & perpetual student!
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