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The Battle for Justice: 'Sickcare' vs. 'Health Owners' <A Series Summary>

For those of you who are too busy to read the entire series right now, here is a high-level, concise summary of the series! :)

 

Part 1

From Health to Despair: One Patient's Odyssey Through US Healthcare 


This series starts with the harrowing story of Jack, a symbol of many who suffer under the current system. Jack, once vibrant and healthy, finds himself battling a cascade of health issues following a seemingly trivial insect bite and random life events. His odyssey through dismissal, misdiagnoses, and ineffective treatments painfully highlights the system's failures.

 

It also highlights issues like lack of proper communication and education, fragmented care, and the psychological toll of being trapped in a healthcare maze.




 

Part 2

US 'Healthcare' - Gigantic Complex Business Enterprise


This section dissects the U.S. healthcare landscape with a focus on the providers’ perspectives. Nowadays, they often struggle in the U.S. healthcare system, which has slowly eroded their autonomy and made ‘productivity’ their main metric rather than quality patient care, which leads to serious burnout.

 

The healthcare system operates more like a business enterprise focused on profit than on care. This profit-driven model leads to fragmented and uncoordinated care among providers, causing patients deep frustration and potentially grave danger, and conceals a massive number of medical errors.




 

Part 3

The Unfair Challenges for the Patients


This installment focuses on the myriad challenges patients face in the healthcare system. It discusses the power imbalance between patients and providers, including not being properly listened to, the complexity and inconsistency of medical documents, and the overwhelming amount of information, along with the fragmented technology patients must navigate.

 

These challenges naturally disempower patients, preventing them from taking control of their healthcare and preparing for medical emergencies. The 'hope for the best' approach often leaves them vulnerable, where easily treatable conditions can become serious or even fatal.




 

Part 4

'Sickcare System’s Love of Sick People and Profit


This part is where I spill out all my criticisms of the US healthcare system's tendency to prioritize profit over patient care. The factors discussed in Parts 2 & 3 (e.g., providers not spending enough time with their patients, fragmented and uncoordinated care, and patients needing to navigate the complex system with confusing information while often disempowered by the system) all contribute to a cycle where patients receive suboptimal care, leading to prolonged illnesses, frustration, and suffering which ensures more profit for the 'Sickcare' system.

 

When patients aren’t in charge of their care decisions, they can be easily reduced to being ‘cash cows’ that the system can take advantage of. When they agree to unnecessary (or even undesirable) treatment, even when the patient doesn’t pay a large out-of-pocket expense, we (as a society) are all getting milked!

 


On a larger scale, this has led to the US ballooning healthcare spending, which is more than double that of other industrialized countries' average, while our average life expectancy is lower than those countries by more than 6 years.

Many experts have been concerned about the impact of our healthcare on the future of America. Yet, no government nor brilliant business minds like Warren Buffett have reined in healthcare spending and overall quality.


Unfortunately, healthcare is becoming America’s existential threat.


 

Part 5

The Battle for Justice: 'Sickcare' vs. 'Health Owners'


This volume starts by highlighting the alarming state of medical errors in the US, where they don’t even disclose precisely how many people have been harmed by the system (even though the number is likely as if multiple jets are crashing every day!).

 

To combat this injustice and others that have been discussed in this series, American people are called to adjust their mindsets toward their healthcare. Instead of being passive participants in their care, they can treat their health as their most valuable asset, like their own house.


With some effort, they can learn to be ‘handy’ (comfortable with basic medical care) or work with a trustworthy advocate who can help them take simple, smart steps before things unravel.

 


A Health Owner mindset is like a rocket that propels you above the chaos of the system. When you choose to use some fuel (time and resources) before a medical situation strikes, you will gain clarity and be better protected.


Prepare for your appointments and engage providers as partners in care. Decline services if their risks and benefits aren't clearly explained. Seek second opinions when questions remain.


We should never forget:

 

  • The healthcare system needs our business. (You should use the power as a consumer!)

  • The providers cannot take any action without our consent (except for emergencies). Informed consent is our right. Get informed!

  • We lose our power when we wait too long and become a patient who desperately needs care.

 

If enough people stand up as Health Owners, we can force systemic improvements. No one will fight for your best interests like you (and your independent advocate) can.

 

Part 6

The Power of Advocacy and Jack’s Alternative Outcome


Finally, we revisit Jack's story, imagining a different outcome had he been a 'Health Owner.' This alternate scenario underscores the power of patient advocacy and the crucial role of informed decision-making in navigating the healthcare system. Our advocacy for this change is not just a call for individual empowerment but a rallying cry for systemic transformation.



Our healthcare journey is a battle for justice. It's a call to arms for all of us to become 'Health Owners', to take control of our health, and to demand a system that truly cares for its patients.


 

If this summary resonated with you, you can read the series by clicking - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6.


Join the movement of health owners! Take charge of your health by communicating better with your doctors. Sign up for our newsletter and receive the ultimate guide to Doctor's appointments here.



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About Kayoko Corbet, RN, BCPA


Hi, I’m Ky! I assist people in navigating the healthcare maze and complexities to get the care they need and deserve with full benefit. I also help people better manage their health to have a better future.


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