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How To Be An Informed Patient

Some people have blind faith in their doctors and are loyal to their healthcare professionals to the end. This allegiance to a physician is admirable, but not always necessary or wise. You owe it to yourself to get the best health care possible. As with making any decision, informed healthcare consumers get better results than uninformed patients do.

Determine the need for a second opinion

While advancing technology continues to sharpen the accuracy of diagnostic testing, it is still impossible to correctly diagnose an illness 100 percent of the time, especially on the first try. Many insurance companies require a second opinion to reduce the rate of diagnostic errors. Medicare will pay up to 80 percent for a second, or even a third, opinion when a major surgery or procedure is involved in order to gain a consensus on the diagnosis and best course of treatment. Most family doctors will not be offended if you ask them for a referral. Consider a second opinion whenever you face a serious illness or complex surgical procedure.

Find an alternate doctor

Ask friends and relatives or use the Internet to find a general physician or specialist in your area. Each doctor may have a different opinion (Read More....)