The following is a blog submitted by Gabrielle White of the Orthopedic Surgery Center of Orange County in Newport Beach, CA. In this entry, Gabrielle shares her thoughts on the shift in patient attitudes and how it may affect healthcare in the future.
These days, it’s common for patients to be particular about where they go for medical care. They are realizing that they don’t have to go to their nearest hospital just because it’s where their doctor referred them. Patients are paying attention to factors such as cost, quality, and location. It’s my opinion that this is due to a few different factors-
- Easier access: With the help of surgical benefit companies, patients now have better options and assistance with the process. BridgeHealth Medical is one of those companies. They have coordinators ready to support patients with all of the details.
- Lack of quality: Some people live in areas where options for care are very limited or very expensive. They are realizing that quality is important, and that they have the power to choose a center that gives them the care they need.
- Awareness of what’s important: Due to rising costs in healthcare, people seem to know to shop around. Even though cost is important, quality must still come first. Patients should always keep in mind that price does not always reflect the best outcomes. They can usually find reliable care if they focus on high-volume centers with high-quality ratings.
Many hospitals and surgery centers have expert teams that cater to patients who are traveling away from home for medical care. Some even have partnerships- like that between OSCOC and BridgeHealth- to make the process as seamless as possible.
When patients have to travel to reach us, we make sure they are candidates for surgery. Our doctors also ensure that it’s safe for them to travel. Between our team and the patient’s care coordinator, we make sure the patient is supported all the way.
Healthcare has come a long way with regard to support, safety, and the focus on value. I believe this new attitude toward freedom of choice could play a big part in the future of where healthcare in the U.S. is going.
Gabrielle White is a Registered Nurse and the Executive Director of Ambulatory Services and Network Development at the Orthopedic Surgery Center of Orange County in Newport Beach, CA. She oversees and arranges care for many patients that are referred through surgery benefit management programs, including those referred by BridgeHealth Medical.