NEW YORK--()--FAIR Health and the American Institute for Preventive Medicine (AIPM) have joined forces to educate consumers on the best ways to make important health-related decisions as part of the 10th Annual National Wise Health Care Consumer Month in February. Both organizations are focused on empowering Americans to take greater control of their health and their healthcare: FAIR Health is an independent not-for-profit corporation that brings transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information through free cost estimator tools and educational resources; the AIPM is a URAC accredited organization that develops and implements programs and publications related to wellness, medical self-care, and disease management.
“The American healthcare system is quite marvelous when you understand how to navigate it. What we’d like to do is compel Americans to want the best healthcare available, but they need to know when to access it, how to pay for it and how to determine its value”
With the rise of consumer-directed health plans as well as the implementation of several provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Americans are increasingly being asked to make critical healthcare decisions that impact their health and their wallets. But many consumers are unprepared to make such decisions. Studies have shown that Americans spend more time researching auto purchases and new appliances than they do choosing their physicians and health insurance plans.
To commemorate this year’s National Wise Health Care Consumer Month, FAIR Health and the AIPM have teamed up to promote greater understanding of the healthcare system and the information that consumers need to make wise healthcare decisions. Consumers are encouraged to consider the following before making healthcare decisions:
- Have I chosen a healthcare plan that fits both my financial constraints and my health needs?
- Do I understand the fees associated with in-network and out-of-network care?
- Have I researched my providers carefully and thoughtfully?
- Am I communicating my health concerns clearly with healthcare providers?
- Do I understand my healthcare costs and can I discuss these costs appropriately with my provider and insurer?
- Have I evaluated my sources of health information?
- Do I know what symptoms I should see a doctor for versus those that I can treat myself?
- Am I taking advantage of preventive care?
- Am I fully aware of my prescriptions’ purpose and do I follow my doctor’s instructions?
- Do I understand how my choice of medical providers and treatments affects my costs?
“Many consumers are unaware that they can better manage their healthcare expenses simply by conducting the necessary research and arming themselves with information about costs; however, it is our job as educators to make this information easier to access and to understand,” said FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd. “Toward that end, FAIR Health enables consumers to estimate and plan their medical and dental expenses by providing free tools and educational articles and videos about the health insurance reimbursement system. Promoting National Wise Health Care Consumer Month with the AIPM is a natural extension of our mission-driven efforts to increase consumers’ awareness of the cost implications of care decisions so that they can make more informed choices about their health and the services they receive.”
"The American healthcare system is quite marvelous when you understand how to navigate it. What we’d like to do is compel Americans to want the best healthcare available, but they need to know when to access it, how to pay for it and how to determine its value,” said Dr. Don R. Powell, President of the American Institute for Preventive Medicine. “National Wise Health Care Consumer Month is an initiative that aims to decipher the complexities of the healthcare system and provide Americans with actionable information that provides a pathway to more sound healthcare decisions.”
February is National Wise Health Care Consumer Month, which was launched in 2003 to promote positive health behaviors and educate consumers about the ways in which they can make wise decisions on the cost and quality of healthcare. For more information please visit www.healthylife.com.
The collaboration between FAIR Health and the American Institute of Preventive Medicine is in no way an endorsement by either organization of the other’s products.
About FAIR Health:
FAIR Health is a national independent, not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to bring transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information through comprehensive data products, consumer resources and support of health services research. FAIR Health uses its database of billions of billed medical and dental services to power an award-winning free website (fairhealthconsumer.org) that enables consumers to estimate and plan their medical and dental expenditures. The website also offers clear, unbiased educational articles and videos about the healthcare insurance reimbursement system. In addition to its consumer offerings, FAIR Health licenses data products to businesses, governmental agencies, healthcare providers and researchers. With its professional staff of experts in healthcare, statistics, technology and communications, FAIR Health strives to offer accurate, consistent and timely information to all stakeholders in the healthcare system. FAIR Health also offers educational material about healthcare costs and insurance in Spanish at consumidor.fairhealth.org.
About the American Institute for Preventive Medicine
Founded in 1983, the American Institute for Preventive Medicine is one of the first five companies to receive URAC Accreditation for Comprehensive Wellness. It is an award winning, internationally recognized authority on the development and implementation of wellness, medical self-care, and disease management programs and publications at worksites and in communities. The organization has helped over 13,000 organizations reduce health care costs and absenteeism, while helping over 15 million consumers improve their health and well being. Its products educate, motivate, and change behavior.