I had an interesting opportunity recently to engage with young adults about their healthcare concerns, needs and wants.
Throughout the conversations, those in attendance discussed their particular adventures in utilizing this doctor or that hospital, all of which provided great insight to me in planning the future for our organization, and for that I am very grateful. The discussion covered the entire continuum of topics related to healthcare, which of course included their concerns about the high cost of health insurance and care.
A few stories, however, alarmed me. I heard stories of individuals refusing to get medical attention because of the perceived cost. One individual related how her roommate took a serious fall, injuring her lower body. The roommate indicated that she was in a good deal of pain, but she demanded to wait it out because she didn’t want to have to pay for an emergency room visit.
The next morning, still in terrible pain, she agreed to seek medical attention and was diagnosed with a broken hip and pelvic bone – nearly 12 hours after the fall occurred.
Another instance was a burn to one’s arm that probably needed more serious attention than could be provided at home but again a refusal to seek medical attention because of cost. When the wound didn’t heal, they finally sought medical assistance. It turned out to be more expensive because they waited to seek treatment in the first place.
I think we all recognize there are challenges facing the healthcare system, specifically as it relates to cost. However, there are many things we, as bosses, co-workers, family members and friends, need to keep communicating to those who “out-of-hand” say that healthcare just costs too much. There are always options that can reduce one’s overall cost to receive care and not seeking treatment shouldn’t be one of them.
The cost of care rises given the level of acuity a facility is able to treat. So, if you can, start with the options that are lower-cost, then go up from there.
Here’s an example of how you might think of the escalating options:
Emma Dill - Nov 27, 2023
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