Desperate Times Lead to… Taking Your Power Back

I’m about to share a deeply personal story with all of you. Before I tell it to you – I will say that our healthcare system is BROKEN, very badly; and no one is talking about it enough. How many “Go Fund Me” asks have you seen to support someone in a health crisis whose health insurance won’t cover what they need? I’ve seen many, too many. It’s shameful of the health insurance providers. Shame on them. I’ve come to the conclusion that health insurance companies would rather see us literally die than get the care we need, seriously.

As a business owner, good health insurance is nearly impossible. I’ve had two different health insurance companies and both…well…blew chunks. I now have a well-known named company and I needed to have physical therapy. I was holding off for a while – probably too long – while I was waiting to switch my health insurance companies, only to find out that I may have an even worse plan which was not disclosed in all of their information that I carefully combed through before switching.

On the first plan, I am still fighting to have things paid for from a year ago, things like a blood test my doctor prescribed; an annual check-up; a bone density test – all preventative measures. Apparently they didn’t feel they were necessary. (aka “Please just die.”) A bean counter is now in charge of my health. No longer are my doctors the ones to decide, it’s some nameless, faceless accountant who now decides whether I can afford to live or die.

On my new plan, I made an appointment for physical therapy – I had to hold off because the first plan would only pay for 10 sessions which I used and then was left not healed and still in much pain. So, over a year later, I am trying again to get well. The first physical therapy facility called to say (on the day of the appointment – 2 weeks after I made the appointment) that my insurance would only pay 40% of their $600 physical therapy sessions. I asked why they were so expensive and they told me “We bill as a hospital, not a physical therapy facility.” Honestly, I can’t blame them, the health insurance companies are screwing doctors, hospitals and other providers as well. They are taking the funding from both sides.

I tried a different facility, and again on the day of my appointment I got a call (after waiting another 2 weeks in pain) saying “Sorry, we don’t take your insurance.” The third time was a charm – it’s an amazing place. I’m so grateful; however, my co-pay is more than they actually charge, so basically, I am paying out of pocket for every physical therapy session. You need to be very rich in this country just to stay alive and live in good health.

But this article isn’t just a venting session. We need to change and take back our power. As a strategic advisor, consultant and coach, I know how business and industries shift…and the healthcare industry is going south…fast.

It’s time for innovation, and it’s taking over.  No longer are patients victims of the health insurance industry. They are taking matters into their own hands and deciding on their own healthcare choices.

Last year I attended a 2-day Pilates workshop specifically for the issue I have. This week I’m attending a full-day facia release workshop taught by a physical therapist. If I’m paying for everything out of pocket anyway, I should chose the things that are going to “fix me” and which do not involve my health insurance company.

More and more good doctors don’t even take health insurance – so the health insurance companies are going to get “squeezed out” if they don’t start paying attention.

Deloitte just published a great article on “Elevated Consumerism in Healthcare” – meaning consumers are deciding on their health solutions, not the health insurance companies. We are taking our power back! AI is taking a big part in educating patients and healthcare providers are becoming “coaches” vs. the experts.

In the next three years we will see new entrants coming into the market. We get to decide rather than being helpless victims of a corporate operation.

Deloitte’s data shows that 20% of surveyed consumers already use social media for information on public health issues (while only 50% go to their doctor), and 21% get information from their health plans. Armed with personal health records and an expanding array of health knowledge, these consumers are more informed and are increasingly demanding in their expectations from health care providers. Power!

According to Deloitte, by the year 2030, the health care industry will likely be transformed by a new era of health centered around the consumer. This era is marked by an unprecedented fusion of technology, biology and personalized care.

Adding to this, I no longer have dental or eye care insurance. I have a “discount plan” that discounts rates, and I decide who I will go to. I no longer need insurance in this area. It was horrible anyway – even when I worked for a big corporation. So now I don’t pay for the insurance.

Keep paying attention – as we are going to be seeing big changes coming down the pipeline in the area of healthcare. You can be part of the solution, or you can wait to see what comes next. I vote for being part of the new solution.

I will end with – take your power back. It’s time!

joanne newborn
Joanne Newborn is CEO & Founder of Newborn Evolution LLC. She is an Executive Leadership Coach and Consultant working with Organizations and Dental Practices around the globe. Her Superpower: Interpreting Senior Leadership’s vision and strategy and translating it to achievable goals to ALL levels of an organization from C-Suite to Middle Management to Individual Contributors. She and her team are Transforming Organizations’ Visions into Results through Leadership Coaching,Training and Consulting. Using a unique blend of Eastern & Western Methodologies in her Coaching practice – she combines hardcore Business Strategy with Jungian Theory and Eastern Philosophy. She has Coached clients on every continent with the exception of Antarctica and has her MBA from Penn State, her ACC from the International Coaching Federation, is a DiSC Certified Practitioner and a DEI Certified Coach. She can be seen speaking at conferences on Leadership around the US and at Universities and Colleges. You can connect with Joanne on LinkedIn or visit her website.

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