Am I a patient or consumer?

The media and the services industry are flooded with articles and discussion forums with titles like “The Dawn of Healthcare Consumerism” and “The New Consumerism of the Patient.”  Not exactly compelling reading for the average person.

As a leader in this industry, I stay on top of where related laws and policy are leading us. I know what value-based payment structures mean to revenues; I see the implications of moving from hospital to home-based care; and I have a staff that understands insurance plans and reimbursements because they manage those issues for PyxisCare clients.

However, as a mother and a wife who manages a budget and healthy household of my own, I think about how confusing these changes would be to manage if I didn’t have a decades-long career in care management.  It’s difficult to be a “smart shopper” when you don’t know your options.

For most, the biggest impact is that YOU as a patient/consumer/smart shopper are more responsible THAN EVER for your healthcare and wellness decisions.  This is not meant to be scary—but it does mean that you have to be vigilant about coordinating and managing the full spectrum of services that you may need: physicians, specialists, therapists, mental health professionals, and more.  All the while managing financial and legal implications of decisions you make for the future.

By the way, the answer is… you are both a patient AND a consumer.  Today, you have both more control AND more responsibility for your health and wellness decisions. So treat care and care process like any other large investment: do your research, stay informed, get qualified advice, and most importantly, put yourself and your loved ones or clients in the center of decision making.