In a time when so many people are uninsured, partially insured and tightening our budget belts, it is more difficult for many to justify spending money for a physician visit when you are not ill. The problem with this issue is many serious health conditions can be festering inside our bodies only to erupt at a later time. When they do eventually begin to manifest in an outward way, the conditions could already have done damage that may not be reversible. Of course, there will be additional expenses to deal with these abnormalities.
Current patterns of health care utilization indicate a trend of people not using the healthcare system due to the state of financial uncertainty as well as other potential reasons. What are the consequences of this behavior? For the remainder of this discussion, we are going to assume that the previous frequency of health care utilization was for needed services and not just using the system because it was there, someone else was paying or you had a little more confidence in your individual financial situation. This is a rather large assumption and it is just that…an assumption.
What are the potential consequences of not changing the oil in your car or not maintaining the integrity of the roof on your house? The answer is pretty obvious…more serious problems that must be addressed or you may not have a car to drive or a roof over your head. And of course, it will be much more expensive than if you had just had the oil changed. I am talking about simple and inexpensive monitoring of your vital functioning. You can probably obtain the necessary care at no cost or a nominal fee.
The following items should be monitored on a regular basis and if one or more of them starts to change in an unfavorable direction, implement measures to correct or control. You have the power to control your baseline health. At a minimum, you should be monitoring and performing preventive maintenance of the following· Blood Pressure · Cholesterol · Blood Sugar · Heart rate · Breathing patterns · Skin integrity
Your response in an effort to balance the above measures is an entire discussion for each one. There is a wealth of information at your finger tips to assist you in your effort.
How do you obtain the necessary monitoring and care? 1. If you have health insurance, check your policy for provision of “Preventive Health”. Many policies will cover these services with very little or no out of pocket expenses. 2. If you can’t afford these services, here are some optionsa. Check your blood pressure at the local grocery store or discount department store. Many of these businesses have machines available with no charge for the use. Look for them in the area of the pharmacy section. Check it at regular intervals and keep track of it in a log so you can see if a pattern develops. b. Seek out community services. Most communities, employers or senior organizations will sponsor a “Health Fair”. Most of the time you can even obtain your cholesterol levels at no or little cost. Check your local newspaper, churches, hospitals, AARP or notices posted at your pharmacy or department store to locate these Health Fairs. c. Often times in communities, free clinics may be offered. These often are sponsored by a healthcare organization (hospital, physician practice) or church. These clinics usually have physicians, nurses and sometimes dentists available. Search the same sources as mentioned previously.
So, you see there are options where you thought there were none. You might need to put a little effort into a search for these offerings, but it is well worth it. Maintain your physical systems like the well oiled machine that it is.
If anyone knows of additional sources or options, please comment so all the readers can benefit from your information. After all, that is what it is all about. Until next time…stay tuned.