Power to the patient: February is Wise Health Care Consumer Month

Years ago, the American Institute for Preventive Medicine launched National Wise Health Care Consumer Month. Health care costs were rising, and we wanted to promote the cost-saving, health-enhancing potential of medical self-care and health care education programs as part of workplace wellness.

Years later, health care costs are still rising. Consumers are spending more time choosing cars and appliances than selecting a health plan and skimping on prescriptions to save money.

We’ve seen a wide range of trends take hold in workplace wellness — biometric screenings, on-site clinics, online health portals  — and while we’re happy to see employers exploring new strategies and implementing new tools, we still believe in simple, cost-effective, time-tested solutions, and we still think medical self-care and wise health care consumerism should play a central role in the workplace.

We believe that wise health care consumers:

- Know how to choose a health care plan
- Choose their care providers carefully and thoughtfully
- Communicate with their health care providers
- Are comfortable asking questions, sharing concerns and negotiating costs
- Analyze and evaluate sources of health information
- Practice preventive care
- Know when to treat themselves at home
- Understand their prescriptions and take them as directed

To kick off the month, we’re offering a free Wise Health Care Consumerism Toolkit. We hope it will help you get the gears turning, brainstorm health care consumerism programs and provide you with a few resources you can use in your efforts.

Throughout February, we’ll be sharing information and resources about wise health care right here on the blog (healthylife.com/blog) and on Twitter (twitter.com/workingwellblog) with the hashtag #whcc2012.

Do you promote wise health care consumerism in your workplace? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line here or  leave a comment below.

1 comment to Power to the patient: February is Wise Health Care Consumer Month

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