Be your own health advocate
By Jenna Ziegler - Gali Community Member
With any chronic illness, it’s important to learn to be your own advocate. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical experts are very wise; however, there are several precautions you can take to ensure you’re always getting the best care possible. Here are some tricks I’ve learned:
1) Add the address, phone number, point of contact, and fax number of every specialist, pharmacist, and insurance company within your medical team. Now, if there’s ever an issue, you don’t have to take time scouring the web to find these important pieces of information. Also, having each fax number readily available expedites the process when one medical expert needs to fax paperwork to another.
2)Take a photo of all the medications you’re on. Make sure you can view the dosage and that you know how often you need to take each medication. Now, whenever you see a new doctor, you have all the information they’ll need about your medication list.
3) Always keep your medication receipts. If there’s ever an issue with insurance, you can backup your side of the story.
4) Start a medical binder. Oftentimes, there’s much more than just receipts that you should keep. I always keep any medical letter I receive in the mail, procedure/lab results, and even copies of prescriptions my doctor hands me before I drop them off at the pharmacy.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being cautious and strategic when dealing with medical stuff. I mean, I have more medical contacts in my phone than I do friends and family! But from personal experience, I can tell you that this has saved so much headache when I spent a day calling my insurance, doctor’s office, and pharmacist multiple times!
You’ll continue to find other tricks that help you be your own advocate in your unique situation. Just remember—never be afraid to ask for copies or receipts!