Protecting Yourself in the World of Health Care

Caring for your health is important. As you make your way through life, you’ll experience triumphs and defeats, build a career, and develop meaningful relationships with friends, family members, and romantic partners. Throughout it all, you’ll rely on your good health to allow you to enjoy life to the fullest.

But caring for your health can be a difficult thing in our modern world. The healthcare system here in the United States is notoriously complex and inefficient. Protecting your health, your privacy, and your interests within our system can be difficult. Here’s what you need to know about making sure that you are cared for properly.

Keeping your information private

To care for your health, you’ll need to share private information with your health care providers. You want to make sure, though, that you don’t inadvertently share that information with someone who should not have it.

The professionals work hard to make sure that your private medical information is protected while allowing it to be used to help you, explain the experts at Hixny, a health information exchange organization. These organizations make it easy for you to change doctors or view private health information at home using a computer. But they also take extensive precautions to make sure that the information does not fall into the hands of hackers and other bad actors.

You have to help, too. You’ll see lots of your own private health information, and you could easily allow the wrong people to get ahold of it. You should get a paper shredder and make good use of it, so that your health information (as well as your financial information and other important, private stuff) is not freely available to any crook who goes through your trash.

Be sure to secure your devices too, and don’t overshare your medical secrets with coworkers or friends. You never know when something private could come back to hurt you.

Protecting yourself from doctors’ mistakes and negligence

Doctors undergo extensive training and education in order to be licensed to practice medicine. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not human. Just as it is with any other line of work, the medical field has some doctors in it that just aren’t good at their jobs. Worse, it has some that are negligent or malicious, and who act without regard to (or even against) your interests.

If you’re ever uncomfortable with a doctor you’re seeing, don’t hesitate to try a new health care provider. Seeking a second opinion can’t hurt, especially when you’re dealing with a major diagnosis or a huge decision about surgery or medication.

And if you’re hurt by a doctor who did not do his or her job properly, you should reach out to a respected medical malpractice attorney like Howard Fensterman. If your doctor was negligent or put his or her own interests ahead of yours, then he or she could be liable.

A settlement or court award could help make you financially whole again by compensating you for medical bills, lost wages, other related expenses, and even (in some cases) your pain and suffering.

Know your rights and financial options

As a patient, the healthcare system can seem huge and complicated — not to mention expensive. But you may not have to pay every bill that you get. You may be surprised by just how much you can change the financial realities of our healthcare system by calling up hospitals and knowing your rights.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t just pay up, experts say. Call the hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies involved. Ask questions and protest unfair charges. You can even haggle and negotiate! Standing up for yourself can help you protect your finances in a complex and often unfair system.