When it comes to health care, money is always an issue. Let’s face it. Health care is expensive. Whether you’re paying high premiums for insurance, high deductibles to get lower premiums or you’re paying out of pocket for care that your insurance doesn’t cover, it all adds up. So it may seem like having more money means your health will be better just because you can afford to pay more for health care.
In my experience, the opposite is often true. Why? Let’s start with what happened to me.
When I had my hysterectomy, my health tanked. My hormones were gone and my entire body felt like it was falling apart. I didn’t know what to do.
But I was fortunate (I thought!) that I had money to spend looking for the best health care. So I travelled around the country to nine different doctors looking for the answer. I ended up over-medicated and sicker than when I started after the wrong medications burned out my thyroid.
The problem wasn’t that I didn’t have money to spend on health care. It was that I didn’t know what questions to ask to get the right health care.
Here’s another example. When someone with extra money gets diagnosed with a major illness – say, cancer – he or she often seeks what I call “destination care.” That means traveling away from home to a cancer center or hospital that claims to specialize in treating cancer.
The problem is, it doesn’t take any real expertise to claim to be an expert. It just takes a good marketing team. So any hospital that treats cancer can claim to be a cancer specialist.
Don’t get me wrong. There are some excellent facilities that are experts in cancer care including the Mayo Clinic, MD Anderson and the Cleveland Clinic, just to name a few.
My point is that if you have a specific diagnosis, you need to look for a treatment center that specializes in treating that exact illness. Cancer is a very generic term. So a facility that excels at treating ovarian cancer may not be up to date on the best treatments for lung cancer, and vice versa.
Another factor to consider is how rare your condition is.