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Debunking four health care myths


Patients aren't blameless in the current state of health care in America.

The American health care system has become an inescapable hamster wheel and a lot of the blame for that has fallen to physicians and, more righteously, insurance companies.

But the impact patients have on the system shouldn't be discounted.

I have a friend who gets his primary care via urgent care and non-urgent grocery store care. He is overweight and pre-diabetic. When I tell him he needs to establish a relationship with a primary care doctor, he tells me he has to wait six months for an appointment because he is not an established patient.

This sets up a cycle that negatively impacts his care and system as a whole.

Here is the truth behind four myths about the patients' role in the current health care ecosystem.

Good care is good enough for patients until they need great care. Getting convenient care is more important than waiting for great care. But when a health issue that has been ignored, missed and/or unmanaged becomes an issue, these same patients want to move to the front of the line and be prioritized.

When my air conditioning fails in the middle of the night or on a weekend, I pay a premium for after-hours service. And if I don’t have an existing relationship with an HVAC company, I wait in the back of their line. Healthcare is no different.

I do believe we are part of the problem. I believe we can do better. And I believe patients share the blame for where healthcare is going.

Lucien W. Roberts, III, MHA, FACMPE, lived on the healthcare hamster wheel for many years.As he nears retirement, he avoids hamster wheels, the Mad Hatter tea cup ride at Disney World, and anything else that unsettles him.

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