Here are simple tips to minimize the chances of mistakes in your diagnosis, treatment, and healthcare finances:
- Ask your doctor(s) questions about everything that you do not completely understand until you do understand.
- Find a primary care doctor who listens to you, you trust, and you can contact when needed.
- Request copies and keep your own medical records. Do not trust any insurance provider, Medicare, or health system just because they have a system that lets you access your information. Make copies, and/or make sure that your medical records are in a system that you control.
- Prepare for appointments with doctors by sharing your goals and questions with them at least 1 day before your appointment.
- Verify any abnormal medical tests with a second test. Labs make mistakes, too.
- When given any serious diagnosis do these two things; 1. ask if “based on my medical history and what you know about my circumstances, could my condition be something else?” and Get a second opinion.
- Always review your medical bills and ask for an itemized bill if anything looks suspicious. You will need an itemized bill to dispute any charges.
There is a lot of free, expert help available. Use it when you need it.