Personal Advocacy

In light of recent healthcare legislation, many people wonder who will have their back. But when it comes to your health, your strongest advocate is yourself. Take charge of your medical care to keep your wellness… and your wallet… under your thumb:

  • If you’re admitted to the hospital, always ask what each procedure or prescription is for and how often they’re supposed to be administered; then monitor every dose to catch mistakes. If you have any doubts about whether a medication or screening is necessary, ask your doctor. You have the right to refuse anything you don’t feel comfortable getting.
  • Speak to the head nurse or another doctor you trust about assigning someone else if you’re unsure about the competence of a medical professional.
  • Confirm with your insurance ahead of time about what is covered and what isn’t. If you suspect the company is underpaying or declining entitled coverage, write a letter outlining your concerns. You can also contact your state’s commissioner of insurance, who helps enforce insurance laws on behalf of consumers.
  • Request an itemized report of all charges to identify billing errors. If you owe large out–of–pocket expenses, set up a meeting with the hospital finance department to schedule a workable payment plan. That goes for maternity care as well — most facilities offer discount packages for cash–only patients.

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