Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Health Care Reform Starts Here

DISCLAIMER: I am a currently employed by a subsidiary of the Hawaii Medical Service Association, but these thoughts are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or its parent company.

I believe health care, in its current state, is broken and unsustainable. This post, however, has nothing to do with the legislation that President Obama signed in March. In my mind, the only real solution lies within each and every one of us. It's about KULEANA, personal responsibility. Physicians, the government, and even insurance companies can only do so much. To effect real change in this system, we must change ourselves.

The first step would be to take an honest look at your health-related habits and behaviors. Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables? Do you exercise enough? When was the last time you had your blood pressure or cholesterol checked? If you happen to be an HMSA member, there's a great tool available to you called Succeed. It is a health risk assessment that assesses your lifestyle and basically gives you a grade when you're done. Click here if you are interested in learning more. If you complete the HRA before October 15 and enter promo code JG494, you could win one of three gift cards: $500 to Costco, $200 to Walmart, or $100 to Foodland.

Secondly, you should get connected with a primary care provider. Why is it important? Check out this video by Emmi Solutions. Basically, it comes down to better coordination, which translates to better care. So who benefits most from a strong physician-patient relationship? YOU DO.

This isn't rocket science, folks. Make it happen!


  1. I must admit, I find your disclaimer above a bit funny considering you're really selling the HMSA resources. Here I thought I was settling into an insightful and original blog from an HMSA 'insider.' I'm a tad disappointed, but will still respond nontheless;)

    I agree that people do need to take responsibility for their health care in the US. However, the Amercian public are constantly told by the medical community to surrender their own judgement about their health and their bodies to people that 'know better.' Many MDs will censure patients that have their own insights and opinions, which is in essence taking care of one's body. The medical community has to stop saying "Take responsibility for your health, but do it my way" which is what I think often happens. This sort of behavior has to end and individuals have to start exploring alternative forms of health and healing without getting punished by the system when they do it. Taking responsibility means so much more then eating your green leafies, going for a run and drinking 8 glasses of H2o a day. The US public has to LEARN to become responsible for themselves regarding health and this will take time. If and when it happens it will be like like people being freed after 40 years of slavery. Autonomy will have to be learned. So, you'll have to patient Mr. Samurai.

  2. Hi there,
    Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I appreciate the thoughtful response. I apologize for not responding sooner. I agree that real change will take time. Many of the issues we face today (such as the prevalence of obesity) have been decades in the making, but we have to start somewhere, right? :)