OccupyHealthcare_MeHealthcare providers are waking up and realizing that they need to partner with their patients to get better outcomes for their facilities and practices, and for their patients. As Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) get more and more press, the healthcare delivery side is the entity being held accountable.

Patients must step up to the bumper on accountability, too.

Two phrases have entered the medical lexicon thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a/k/a “healthcare reform.” PPACA is not actually healthcare reform, it’s health payment reform, but I digress. The two phrases are “patient-engagement,” and “patient-centeredness.” Doctors are being told that they must engage with patients, and offer care centered on their patients’ needs … but that engagement and centeredness message is not being simultaneously driven toward patients.

Therein lies an opportunity for #fail.

Patients need to take responsibility for their health, their actions, and their care. I’m not saying that we should shut up, sit down, and do what we’re told. What we must do is ask questions, work to understand the answers, and then do what is in our own best interest, health-wise.

That does not include ignoring instructions to cut down on salt or saturated fats. It most certainly does not involve living on drive-thru meals and expecting a prescription to resolve your expanding waistline or blood sugar numbers.

In this month’s HealthLeaders, Joe Cantlupe talks about how doctors are making more robust suggestions to their patients, with the goal of turning medical care into a true partnership between patients and providers.

Healthcare providers need to step up and work with their patients, turning healthcare into a team sport.

Patients MUST step up and take responsibility for their choices as well as a full share of decision-making.

That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it …

#1 patient rule in #occupyhealthcare: be responsible for yourself
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