On this episode of the podcast, Terry and Bob discuss patient involvement in their care decisions and the implementation of the No Surprises Act, which took effect at the beginning of the year. They explain how shared-decision making in medicine — patients partnering with their doctors to determine their treatment choices — is often important in achieving optimal care outcomes.
Dr. Talya Miron-Shatz, medical decision-making expert and author of the book, Your Life Depends on It: What You Can Do to Make Better Choices About Your Health, discusses the benefits of having access to all potential medical outcomes and care options in order to make the right choices. This transparency gives patients individualized care and the ability to co-decide on medical treatments.
Yet Dr. Miron-Shatz also discusses the potential pitfalls of medical decision-making, given how complex decisions are difficult to make. She highlights how giving control to the doctor and focusing simply on healing can be a huge stress reliever. She explains how trusting your doctor is very important in treatment plans. She advises telehealth providers to maintain this shared trust even though they provide care remotely.
Legal expert Monica Bryant joins the podcast to explain what patients should know about the No Surprises Act, which eliminates surprise bills that occur when patients are unknowingly treated by out-of-network doctors. About one in six hospital visits result in a surprise bill, yet this law should mostly make them a thing of the past. It ensures patients only have to pay in-network prices for their care even if they are treated by an out-of-network doctor.
Monica explains that while this is an unprecedentedly broad law, it still doesn’t apply everywhere (ex: ambulances). She warns patients to be careful not to sign away their rights to this protection accidentally. She advises what to do if patients mistakenly receive a surprise bill: She recommends they contact their provider, and if that doesn’t work, pursue an appeal or call the national hotline.