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The Importance of (Financial) Patient Compliance


Just as patient non-compliance can take a manageable health problem and turn it into a life-threatening health problem, so too can ignoring basic financial guidance cause minor gaps to grow into major financial problems.

When patients come to see you, it’s usually because they don’t feel well or they’re in pain. Generally speaking, the worse they feel, or the greater their pain, the more urgent their need to take action. Sometimes, the problem is that the patient is sick, but has no symptoms that make them feel bad. It could be elevated cholesterol or hypertension. Maybe they’re in the early stages of diabetes or heart disease.

The point is, if they don’t do something about it, the problem will get worse and could even become life-threatening. As their physician, you prescribe the appropriate treatment, such as medication and lifestyle changes like a healthy diet and exercise. You make the recommendations because you know it will fix the problem.

Upon hearing the diagnosis, the patient naturally experiences some concern or even anxiety about the future. The patient immediately agrees to follow through. However, the patient currently has no symptoms, so patient compliance very quickly goes out the window.

Six months later, you see the patient again for a follow-up. You expect to see an improvement, but the patient’s condition has gotten worse because of a lack of patient compliance. The patient didn’t take their medication, didn’t change their diet, and didn’t exercise. The patient gives you every excuse in the world such as, they didn’t have time, or they forgot. Then the patient brightens up and says they feel fine. You explain to the patient, they have a medical condition that has no symptoms, but over time it will take its toll.

Physicians come to me because they know there’s a problem regarding their retirement savings. Presently their life is good, and they’re feeling no financial pain, but they do have concern and even anxiety about their financial future. I make recommendations to fix the problem. Some physicians, are just like their patients and they fail to comply so their problem just gets worse. The physicians who do follow through, almost instantly feel better. Their concerns and anxiety about their financial future go away, because their future is secure.

Don’t be like the patient who fails to comply; get the help you need, follow the recommendations and be financially secure for life.

If you have questions, send me an email to Check out my website Follow me on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn, and absolutely make sure you come back here next week to Physicians Money Digest for another edition of The Alemian File.

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