Health Care Accountability
When I first learned about the comments made by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on the topic of health care reform, I was upset. I questioned whether it was appropriate at a time when our country needed to focus on systematically reforming health care delivery, to redirect that conversation to personal accountability. I agreed that personal accountability was (and is) important, but I think most people also agree that changes are needed in our health care system. The question is how those needed changes should be made.
It’s obviously not an easy question to answer. While the bureaucrats figure out the systematic changes, what are “we the people” supposed to do? What can we as citizens do to make sure we have the best and most affordable health care available?
It is this line of thinking that caused me to reflect more on John Mackey’s op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal. There seems to be some merit in today’s health care reform discussion on the topic of personal accountability. As a result, I’ve decided to start a series of posts on what we can do as individuals to optimize our health care. There’s no perfect system out there. But there are things that we can do to stay as healthy as possible and to know the system well enough to be informed consumers.
Did you notice I used the word consumers? I think the first step in personal health care accountability can be taking a new look at our role in the health care milieu. We are progressing from being submissive, helpless patients to becoming more informed (thank you, Internet!), knowledgeable and active members of our own health care team. We are informed consumers. It doesn’t mean all the information we have is right (not everything on the Internet is accurate?). That’s why it’s all about the relationship between the healthcare provider and the consumer.
I hope this series of post will help us become more informed health care consumers so we can all take personal accountability of our health care. Feel free to let me know if you have a topic you’d like me to add to the queue.