Navigating the Healthcare Maze

The current American healthcare system is a confusing maze for many people. Too often, physicians and hospitals operate in silos and are at odds with health plans. Patients are left on their own to find specialists, schedule and keep appointments, and make important decisions about their care. For people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, obesity and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), navigating through the maze can be almost impossible. That is especially true when conditions are aggravated by mental illness. The result is missed physician appointments, failure to follow prescription drug regimens, and an over-reliance on hospital emergency rooms for routine care. This is not only unhealthy for patients, it’s also very wasteful—and it drives up healthcare costs for everyone.