For the most part, Americans are champ consumers. But we're not such good shoppers when it comes to our own health. Studies show that Americans spend more time researching car purchases and new appliances than they do choosing doctors and health plans.
We're not even sure we have options. Over half of all Americans surveyed in 2011 said they did not feel confident that they could reduce the cost of health care by shopping around. And many of us are shy about negotiating with our doctors, or asking if an expensive test is really necessary.
Meanwhile, escalating health care costs have burdened both employees and employers. The average cost of a visit to the doctor is about $199; a visit to the ER costs about $922. About 25% of those visits are unnecessary. You can imagine how many billions of dollars this costs everyone every year.
You can bend the curve.
Join the American Institute for Preventive Medicine in observing Wise Health Care Consumer Month. We established this national health observance because we know how well medical self-care and wise health care consumer programs work. We want to help you empower your employees understand their options, communicate with their care providers and make educated decisions about their own health.