Talkeetna: (907) 733-2273 ~ Willow: (907) 495-4100 ~ Wasilla: (907) 376-2273

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Take Control Of Your Health, Be A Wise Healthcare Consumer

patient looking over paperwork with doctor

Americans put in more time researching cars and new appliance purchases than they do when choosing health plans and doctors according to the American Institute for Preventive Medicine. February is National Wise Health Care Consumer Month, and its purpose is to inform and empower everyone about making smart choices when it comes to health care. Here are some tips from Sunshine Community Health Center on how to become a wise health care consumer.

  1. Establish a primary care provider for regular check-ups and screenings and take time in choosing your provider. You can find information about Sunshine’s providers here.
  2. Always prepare for visits to a medical provider in advance by making a list of your questions and concerns.
  3. Get regular physical exams. The most common diseases today are preventable. Catching these diseases early means treatment is much easier and will save you more money. Getting your regular check-ups and screenings is the easiest way to bring medical costs at a minimum. Sunshine offers discounted preventive screenings for men, women, annual wellness visits for seniors and pediatric clinics.
  4. Always give your medical team complete and accurate information about your health condition, this includes medications you might be taking at the moment. Do not hesitate to clarify and ask questions if something is unclear to you. And always follow your medical provider’s instructions.
  5. Never ignore symptoms. Listen to your body, and address any symptoms you might be having as it is your body’s way of communicating with you. Treating symptoms without medical advice may do you more harm than good hence, consulting your medical provider is advised.
  6. Take these instructions to heart. When you have prescribed medication, make sure your medical team knows what other medications you are taking including herbal supplements and other home remedies.
  7. Use generic medication if available and appropriate. Generic medicines cost less and are as effective as branded ones. However, when choosing a generic version of your prescription, always consult your medical provider if the generic version is appropriate for your condition.
  8. It is essential to understand your health insurance plan as it will save you lots of time and money and help you plan better.
  9. Caring for your mental health is equally important as taking care of your physical health. The places where we live, learn, work and play have a huge role in our mental well-being and overall health. These are called Social Determinants of Health. Do not forget to consider these factors in your health care plans.
  10. Carry a list of your health care providers and medications with you at all times in your purse, wallet or glove box. If anything does happen unexpectedly, the medical staff that assists you will be able to do it faster and better with this information.

 

 

Curtis Harvie, DNP, FNP-BC, AHN-BC

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