Here are some recommended actions that consumers can take to put themselves in charge:
Avoid damaging behaviors, e.g. smoking
Stick up for yourself when dealing with the system
Question your doctor about your treatment plan
Request a copy of your records
Ask to know the price up front
Make sure there is no confusion about approvals
Engage a network of people
Local support networks
Stay "In Network"
Keep a journal or use a personal health record (PHR)
Our health care system is far too expensive and delivers far less than it should.
All key parties are to blame. That is, hospitals, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, suppliers, physicians, the government and yes, the consumer, are all to blame for this state of affairs.
It is only the consumer that has the power and the motivation to change this. We provide some recommended starting points.