The Beginner’s Guide to Navigating the Healthcare System with RA

Navigating the healthcare system can be frustrating, exhausting, and full of dead ends and rabbit holes. 


Having a chronic illness makes navigating the way even harder. As we know, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is quite complex all by itself. 


Since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the burden of the healthcare system to meet the high demands of caring for these COVID-19 patients. This has forced most healthcare facilities to modify access to services, office space and how services are delivered. 

(You may have noticed more electronic communication, telehealth, and even remodeling of office spaces to accommodate this.)


As a Nurse Practitioner, and RA patient, I understand both sides of the frustration! 


That is why I’m here to help you navigate the healthcare system with confidence and ease. 


Know What to Expect & Planning Ahead 


It’s important to understand what your healthcare journey will look like and to plan ahead. If you are prepared to spend time doing paperwork, awaiting referrals, or obtaining additional lab work, you can plan better. This allows you to better manage your time and stay in control. 


The More Active You are the More Satisfied You Will Be


People who are more active in their care typically report higher satisfaction with the healthcare system. This means they are happier with the care they receive when they are involved. 


This study from 20006showed a need for a more flexible and patient centered care model, in which patients can decide which services they need and how these services should be delivered. It’s so important that, in 2002, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid now have the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. This is the first national, standardized, and publicly reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care. 


Knowing How to Navigate the Healthcare System Can Save You Time 


Navigating the system efficiently can save you time. For example, If you know you need a test of some kind before a referral is done, you might be able to save an office visit. 


Knowing How to Navigate the Healthcare System Can Save You Money 


When you know the ins and outs, you can usually save money. Saving money on a prescription, a co-pay, or even the gas to get there and back can help budgeting for chronic illness easier. 


Navigating the healthcare system with a chronic illness can be tough, but it is possible. I hope these tips have been helpful for you! 


As a member of my one-on-one coaching program, I can help you navigate the healthcare system so you develop a solid understanding of what you need to manage your RA. I help my clients understand their diagnosis from a medical perspective, and decipher and translate medical records for a better understanding of your RA. 


There’s no better time than now to start living life again. And even better, you CAN live your best life with RA! All it takes is a little support. 

Click here to learn more about my coaching program and click here to schedule your free 15-minute consultation with me.


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