Open enrollment time is a great opportunity to take a closer look at all the newly available healthcare options. Since it's that time of the year, Jean talks to Nancy Brock about how to be a savvy healthcare consumer. Nancy is senior vice president of strategic services at Healthgrades, a leading healthcare ratings company. Here's Nancy's advice on how to get the best healthcare for the least amount of money, and what factors you need to consider when evaluating doctors and plans:
- Look at whether your physician is included in the health plan you're considering.
- Understand the quality of your physician. Is she certified in family medical care? Does he have success in terms of doing procedures that you may need?
- Use Internet searches and tools to research all of your options, but understand the type of information that's provided. Data can come from a variety of sources, including Medicare and individual states.
- Know how to read the ratings and make apples-to-apples comparisons. Look at not only the physician, but also the overall rating of the hospital where you might have a procedure. In order to read the ratings correctly, you need to know the patient safety record, other people's feedback and experiences, and the outcomes of the procedures completed.
- Plan ahead. Use online tools to find out what certain procedures will cost on average. Then, take that figure to your doctor and see how his price quote compares.
The information provided here is general advice and you should always consult your own financial adviser before making major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio. The opinions expressed by the hosts, guests and callers to Oprah Radio are strictly their own.