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Healthcare Consumers: Physician and Treatment Options, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

In this day of patient-centered health care, consumers are empowered with more choices than before. This makes it easier for consumers to take an active part in their own health care decisions when it comes to treatments and services. According to HHS, an initiate of the Affordable Care Act is making health care stronger for consumers by making it better in value and expanding coverage, but also to give them a way of making more informed decisions and choices concerning their total care. Health care options are more transparent and makes for better quality of care as well as affordability.

Consumers are given the opportunity to actually participate in their own health care because they are being better informed and are able to choose their physicians with certain health care options such as with PPO coverage without having referrals. Also, consumers can choose what specialists they wish to see (HHS).

According to Hibbard (2004), consumers have many role in improving their own health care outcomes by making their own informed choices, while improving the quality of their care and reducing costs. This is done when consumers learn about the health care system in terms of how to compare providers, nursing homes, hospitals, and health plans. This type of empowerment encourages providers to be competitive, and thus finding ways to be better at their purpose. Consumers drive the market, basically. Hibbard also mentions that consumers are actually partners with their providers when they make informed choices by learning about self-care, being proactive about health prevention, and being coproviders with health professionals in the process of their own care. This also gives patients more information about safety of medicines and procedures.

References

HHS. (n.d.). Goal 1: Strengthen Health CareHHS Strategic Plan. Retrieved from U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: http://www.hhs.gov/secretary/about/goal1.html

Hibbard, J. H. (2004, June). New Roles for Patients and Consumers in Assuring High Quality Care. Virtual Mentor, 6(6).

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