Getting Back on Track with Your Healthcare Appointments
Many Americans were forced to put their healthcare on the back burner during the first half of 2020, as doctor’s offices and hospitals were overwhelmed by attending to coronavirus patients. Now that more healthcare facilities are reopening to their standard patients, you may be wondering about the future of your care. First and foremost, it’s never too late to get yourself back on track. Many types of health-related appointments and consultations were able to still go on virtually, thanks to new and innovative telemedicine options. However, physical exams and other hands-on treatments may have been postponed temporarily during the pandemic. Part of being a proactive patient is talking to your healthcare providers about scheduling necessary appointments and testing.
Why Cutting Healthcare Costs Now Could Hurt You Later
Although you may be struggling with your household budget due to unemployment, business closures, or furloughs, it’s important to not let your healthcare slip through the cracks this year. Not getting those prescriptions filled for chronic conditions or annual checkups now could end up costing you more in the long-term. Since early diagnosis and treatment are essential with many illnesses and disorders, most insurance companies cover the costs of preventative exams and related lab work partially if not entirely. Patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, or arthritis, must keep up with doctor’s visits and prescriptions to manage their symptoms or to prevent the progression of their condition. However, even if you don’t have a chronic illness, you can’t afford to skip routine checkups because they’re instrumental in diagnosing and treating future issues.
Follow-Up Appointments Hold You Accountable to Your Health
You should be scheduling hands-on treatments and visits with your doctor whenever possible. However, follow-ups after your checkups may be handled via telemedicine appointments going forward, so as not to overwhelm the system. Follow-up care is essential to remaining healthy. It gives you the chance to ask your healthcare provider questions about your care, prescriptions, persisting symptoms, and the prognosis for your recovery. It also usually ensures better patient compliance with treatment plans because people typically feel as if they’re held accountable for their actions the more often they speak with their physicians. Non-urgent care, medication adjustments, chronic condition management, and reviewing lab results can all be effectively accomplished during a virtual appointment. Telemedicine follow-ups allow you more flexibility to arrange appointments around your busy schedule. In many cases, you can continue to work at home or in the office the day of your follow-up, meaning long gone are the days of taking a bunch of time off from work to get to and from your doctor’s office.
The Importance of Not Skipping Your Annual Blood Tests
In addition to scheduling an annual physical exam, there are several blood tests you also shouldn’t skip. Your doctor may order a thyroid panel to see how well your thyroid is functioning. Blood tests also reveal if you’re getting enough vitamins and nutrients in your diet. If your doctor determines a specific deficiency, supplements may be recommended to get you back on track. Your doctor may also suggest a complete metabolic panel, blood count, lipid panel, and hemoglobin A1c test. These tests will indicate if you have any issues with your cholesterol, blood sugars, kidney and liver function, or blood cell count. The idea behind blood tests is to identify deficiencies or abnormalities early enough to turn them around, so that you can resume a healthy, active lifestyle.
Advocates for Healthy, Proactive Patients in NYC & Beyond
Pegalis Law Group, LLC is a New York-based law firm focused on educating people about the importance of being proactive patients. For nearly 50 years, we have helped people who have suffered from personal injury or medical negligence. Please visit our website and follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to receive updates on how you can be proactive about your family’s healthcare.