Maybe the title should be: “How Did Everything Become So Confusing??” Do you remember a time when you had good insurance? Where you had a health care system that took great care of you? When simple things like going out for BBQ was not expensive? Things have changed, and with premiums for 2017 going up, there is a new vocabulary phrase I would love for you to learn: Healthcare Consumerism.
Healthcare Consumerism — health·care ‘helTHker’ con·sum·er·ism ‘kənˈso͞oməˌrizəm’
1. transformation of a health benefit plan into one that puts economic purchasing power—and decision-making—in the hands of participants.
2. shopping for health care that fits what you need
YOUR TIME: It is valuable. You know your schedule. Do you work? Have flexible hours? Are you better in the morning or in the afternoon? You want to find a clinic that is close to you or is open times of the day that work best for you. You might also notice that prime times of the day might be limited or actually cost more, but if you can make it work, it’s worth it to you.
YOUR MONEY: Money is important, but what you value is also very important. Do you place high value on your ability to get better faster so that you can go on vacation and feel great? Or, would you rather have the lowest co-pay, but only be seen once before that trip? In a perfect world, those 2 things would coexist (lowest co-pay & highest skill level). Many times, that is not always true. Don’t be afraid to ask your therapist about their training. Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask if they are a PT (physical therapist), PTA (physical therapist assistant), or a tech. PTs and PTAs must go to school for degrees in the physical therapy field. It is your right to know who is caring for you.
YOUR CHOICE: If you know your insurance plan only allows for 20 PT visits a year, you want to make sure those are the best 20 visits ever! If you do not feel like you are making progress after 4-5 visits, you need to have a candid talk with your physical therapist. There are many different clinics, with different specialties, and if it is not working out for you, they should refer you to someone else. This scenario can be even more painful, especially when your deductible is very high, and you are paying out of pocket for all services.
At Monarch Physical Therapy, we are very aware that you value results and want to be at peace with the decisions you make about your healthcare. We also understand your time is important and that you want to interact with people who know your name (sort of like the show Cheers, but without the beer). If we can be a resource in any way, please, reach out! We would love an email, call, or message. We are problem solvers, here to assist you in your transformation into wellness.
Peace and tranquility,