At a Glance
We’d like to think that we have a lot of potential help here. Only about 12% of us have a proficient state of health literacy, the ability to obtain, process, and understand the basic health information and services we need to make appropriate health decisions.
If we can get just one brief message out to our community to give you the 30,000 ft view, it would be this …
LiveWell. Apply healthy lifestyle habits, and stay out of the sick care delivery system all together. If you have one or more chronic conditions, consider applying our Equation for Life to mitigate or even cure them, rather than assuming your only option is to treat them with medications.
Recognize that some of current players in our sick care system are robbing you of your hard earned income and your best possible quality of life. You may not even know that some of them – like the Cost Beast and the Quality of Life Serpent – were in the game. Rise up and fight back for what’s yours.
Carefully choose a primary care provider that you trust, then collaborate with them for just the right care. Not too much and not too little. And when you need care, ask lots of the right questions. Apply the resolve to be a value-based consumer.
Plan for your own End of Life care so your loved ones or your attending doctors don’t have to make decisions for you.
The likely truth is that any given member of the ChooseWell community is only going to need one tiny fraction of what we have at any given time in their lives. And that the information might seem important, but not urgent – until you REALLY need it. Our goal is to let you know what’s available, and to get you the right information – not too much, not too little – at the right time.
In hopes of facilitating that goal, we want you to have the opportunity to quickly scan all the topics so you can get to those of interest with fewer clicks.
So here goes …
Energy > Tension = Joy
This simple equation serves as a substantive, user-friendly framework for addressing our daily sense of vitality and contentment. No matter the relative levels, whenever our Energy exceeds our Tension we are in a good place; when Tension exceeds Energy we are in a generally unhappy state, such as distress, anxiety or depression.
We apply tools for optimizing Five key Pillars - Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep Management, Stress Reduction, and Connectedness (with ourselves, the people around us, and our sense of the sacred) - with the goal of keeping Energy high and Tension low and thus achieving much greater life satisfaction.
We recognize that the whole person is an inextricably intertwined combination of physical, emotional, and mental health, allowing members to experience a virtuous cycle of positive behaviors that optimize well-being.
We help our members through assessing, planning (with goals and priorities defined by the individual), motivating, educating, acting, measuring, and receiving positive reinforcement of success.
ConsumeWell seeks to democratize health care by empowering value-based decision making for individuals and heads of family when:
Trying to understand how sick care related products and services are purchased; why they are different, and how we can use our normal shopping patterns to make better decisions.
Whipping up on the Cost Beast - just for fun. This includes tips on avoiding waste and overpayment; tips on how to estimate the costs of anticipated services; more tips on how to find the reasonable and customary fee rates for specific procedures, tests, and services, and a quick tutorial on understanding your resulting Explanation of Benefits so you have a better idea that you didn't overpay.
Purchasing Health Insurance.
Choosing a Primary Care or other provider.
Consuming ‘Sickness’ services when needed, such as tests, procedures, therapies and products, and deciding the most favorable setting.
Planning for End of Life conditions. This includes addressing the emotional, legal, and financial aspects starting with, but not limited to, Living Wills/Advanced Directives.
As a result, our members become increasingly more capable and effective in understanding their options to optimize their quality of life and consciously control out of pocket expenses.
The Playing Field
One way you could think of your's and your family's wellness and healthcare is that they're games.
Like many games, the games of wellness and sick care have opposing players, and they have rules, and the other players are out to win for themselves. Unfortunately, in today's wellness and healthcare games the other players are very strong, and have done a pretty good job at hiding some of the rules from us. There are two players who are especially good at beating us, and most of us didn't even know they were in the game. Sometimes it even seems like they're speaking a secret language that's hard to understand.
The result? We're losing. We are not enjoying the quality of life we could be and we're paying WAY too much for the healthcare we receive. And what makes it even worse is that we're sort of like the Bad News Bears - we've been losing for so long and so predictably that we enter each new game hopeless and expecting to lose. And nobody in the stands is cheering for us.
The good news is that we can win. Before we go back into the game, we can study some game films, learn how the opponents behave in certain situations, understand what motivates their behaviors, compare notes with others like us who are winning their own personal games, and revise our own game plan. And then get back in there and do our best. We can even choose to play a New Game with new teammates whose values are better aligned with our own.
But the key is we need to revise our own game plan. And that's hard. Changing adult behavior is REALLY hard. But it can be done, and if we do it, not only can we win, but we can redefine the rules and make the opponents play our game. Or, even better, we can go out and find new teammates to participate in our health and wellness game as collaborators - not opponents.