1. Am I getting the best care or even offered the best?
- Is the care appropriate for my age? My condition?
- Am I being given more than one option, if at all possible, with the pros and cons explained to me?
- Is my provider willing to recommend me to a colleague for a second opinion if I feel that I need one?
- Does my healthcare provider care for me as an individual or do I feel lumped together with other patients?
- Do I feel comfortable asking questions?
2. Are the ordered scans and blood work helping me in my care or are they ordered “just because?”
- Does my provider explain the reasoning behind these orders (i.e. what information we’re looking for, how this will help progression of my care, etc.)?
- When the results come back:
- Do I have access to them? If so, are they easy to find?
- Are they explained to me in a way that makes sense?
3. Is insurance providing me coverage or am I consistently receiving denials/is my provider having to do a peer-to-peer?
- Does my coverage make sense?
- Are providers transparent about how much something may cost?
- Are terms explained?
- Can I easily receive access to a care representative?
4. Does my employer offer benefits that fit what I need?
- Health insurance
- Short-term and long-term disability
- Options for FSA and/or HSA accounts
- Employee assistance programs
5. Are the medications that are prescribed working as intended?
- Do I understand how to use them correctly?
- Do I feel comfortable telling my doctor if I have any side effects and need to switch to something else?
- Are they affordable or are there alternatives?
6. Is a patient portal available and easily accessible?
- Is it easy to find what I’m looking for?
- What capabilities does the portal have?
- Can I message my provider?
- Can I view lab and imaging results?
- Can I schedule appointments and see upcoming appointments?
- Can I see visit summaries of previous appointments?
Carly Flumer is a young woman who was diagnosed with stage I papillary thyroid cancer at the age of 27. She recently received her Master’s degree from Boston University in Health Communication and received her Bachelor’s from George Mason University in Health Administration and Policy. While being diagnosed with the “C” word at such a young age was a surprise, as it would be to anyone, she found strength, support, and inspiration in sharing her cancer journey on social media. As a result of her health outcome, she looks to advocate for other cancer patients through education, research, and health literacy.