February 27, 2010

How We Manage Health Care Costs & Quality of Care

This is the story of how we have worked with our doctor to manage the costs and quality of care for Sean's rare condition and our families medical care.

To control our costs we utilize a few simple but effective practices:
  • We make sure our general practitioner (GP) has records from all other doctors and that we never have a test or receive new medicine without our GP's knowledge. This not only controls costs but keeps us from endangering a life by having conflicting prescriptions.
  • We take our insurance Rx formulary (a list of prescriptions covered by our insurance) with us to all appointments and check to make sure any perscriptions given are on the formulary. If they are not listed we find a comparable Rx that is on formulary. Note: we have always been able to find a comparable Rx that is on the formulary or have been able to work with the insurance company to get the Rx approved.
  • We retain copies of all tests, x-rays, scans, and doctor files. We take these with us to any new doctor so that scans etc. do not need to be repeated.
  • Two people attend every appointment. This assures we hear and understand everything and that the doctor receives the full picture of our sickness from our and our family's point of view.
  • We ask questions and understand our conditions and the treatments available as well as the risks and benefits of every treatment.
These simple practices have not only kept our costs down but they have also assisted us and our doctors in improving our quality of care. We take personal responsibility for our health care and do not rely on our doctors to be alone in understanding our conditions or our treatments.

I realize at this time it is popular to hate private insurance companies but we can not engage in that activity. During the five years that we have had private insurance we have received much more than we have given. When we have worked with the insurance company we have always been able to find a common ground that allows us a great quality of care while allowing them to control costs. We view this as a civic duty to assure that our friends, neighbors, and fellow countrymen do not have to pick up costs we could avoid.

Our experience with private insurance stands in great contrast to Sean's previous experience with the military and our private insurance has provided many options and speed of care that we do not see with our family members that have VA, or Medicare.


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