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Take charge: Patients are consumers too

From comparison pricing to partnering with health care providers on their care, patients are learning the power of consumerism.

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“Consumerism” means that when armed with the right information, consumers can make the smartest buying decisions for themselves and their families.

When it comes to health care, the goal is for patients to think like consumers — and to be empowered and wholly involved in their care and health coverage decisions. This includes understanding deductibles, copays, health accounts, networks and more. It also means closer communication with doctors, compliance with treatment plans, knowledge about lifestyle and wellness practices, and focusing on preventive medicine. For their part, health systems need to treat patients as consumers by providing greater and more convenient access to care such as urgent care, walk-in care and video visits.

Consumers want to make sure they are getting good value for their time and money. If an urgent care clinic can address a medical need quickly, conveniently and at a lower cost than an emergency room visit, that’s where they will go. If it will cost them less to have lab work done at a particular laboratory, consumers should be able to request the less costly option.

Being an educated health consumer will help you make the best choices possible for you and your family. As we go into open enrollment Nov. 1–13, review the information mailed to you so you can get the best value for your health care. You can also attend online benefits fairs Nov. 2, 5 and 10.

You can find more information on the Asante Health Plan options on myHR or Asante.org. For questions, email the Asante Benefits department or call (541) 789-4551. You can also submit a case in the Ask HR section of myHR.

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