The last in a weekly five-part series by Tiffany Matthews, BSW, MJ, Contributor
Becoming Your Own Healthcare CEO
When you think about a chief executive officer (CEO), what characteristics come to mind? Someone who is in charge or that has power? A person who is respected and in control?
You're right - and that is the position you should take in your healthcare.
Now this is not to say that you have to be a tyrant who disrespects others like many people in power. You can dictate your treatment and care with diplomacy and respect. My grandmother, who is the inspiration for my healthcare advocacy business, always said to me, "Baby, there is always a nice way to say kiss my behind (and she didn't say "behind" by the way). And there is.
In the art of healthcare advocacy, you will catch more flies with honey. Totally alienating your healthcare provider is a big no-no.
A CEO also knows when to have respect for others that know more about a subject than they do, and put those people in charge of their specialties. That is how your doctors should be treated. They are the experts in the practice of medicine and you must yield to their opinions within their expertise. I barely passed biology in college, so I am not qualified to be a doctor.
Yet, I am the expert on me. My symptoms, my feelings, my environment and everything else that affects my health is my domain. I demand that any provider that I deal with respect that. If they can't, then I won't deal with them.
My healthcare will not go as I want it to go. That could be a threat to my life as I know it. It's also disrespect to my expertise. As a patient, do not let this happen to you.
I am here to help you become your Healthcare CEO. It does take effort. However, putting my advice into practice can save you time, money and stress in your healthcare journey.
Another thing any CEO knows is that you win some and you lose some. Even though I am an advocate, sometimes I forget to ask questions or follow up with a provider. However, when I am at an appointment, I do my very best to get a good understanding of everything that is happening. Being your own Healthcare CEO does not mean perfection, it means putting in the work and the intent to do well.
It also means having a right-hand person, whether a trusted friend or a professional, to assist you when you need it. We all need help at times, so reach out for it.
Most of all, being your own Healthcare CEO means that you will not to stand for the status quo. You have the power to change your health care and treatment because you know what kind of patient you are and you deserve the best care for what you are paying (insurance premiums, co-pays, etc.). Now, it’s time to do your small part to change healthcare delivery in our nation - become active in your care. It all begins with you.
Tiffany Matthews, BSW, MJ, is a Writer, Social Worker & Healthcare Advocate at Live Better Boomer! Healthcare Access & Advocacy Services, in the greater Philadelphia area. You can also connect with her on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.