A primer on making the right moves as an active participant in your health care.
Whatever your opinion on the Affordable Care Act, there’s an argument to be made that the American health care system is still a confusing mess, driven by cost-cutting, managed care initiatives, and conflicting information. Michelson is the CEO of a company that works with patients to get the best possible care—not only from the best possible physicians (though that often factors in), but also through guiding them through the process described in this book, one that shifts the role of care director over to the patient. The author was in high school when his father was told he needed open-heart surgery. Terrified at the idea of losing his father, he called another hospital and somehow finagled a second opinion with the chairman of cardiology, who went on to discover that Michelson’s father’s heart was fine. The author addresses our fragmented health care system by essentially moving the system over into the hands of the patient. Akin to becoming an expert on yourself, the patient takes an account of his entire medical history and learns the best ways to empower doctors to deliver the most accurate care. Michelson balances cautiously on the fine line between empowering patients to direct their care and empowering them to know what’s best. Sensitive to the volumes of misinformation that are just a Google search away, he advocates for a measured approach, pulling in support and information from a range of medical professionals. Michelson advises using not only personal wisdom, but also the skills and insights of others in a coordinated effort to reach the best outcome.
As the author notes early on, health care is one of the few areas where people willingly cede control over to others, but with this useful book, patients can have more say over what direction treatment takes rather than just going along for the ride.