Monday, April 15, 2013
In Cardiology today, we have an almost endless number of options for the management of every problem encountered at any given time. There are medications to eliminate symptoms and reduce cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugars. Procedures will open your arteries from the inside or bypass them from the outside, and are being done less and less invasively.
What is the missing key that makes each of these options more successful and longer-lasting? You!
Without your commitment to a healthy lifestyle, including diet, exercise and weight control, everything else simply becomes an expensive stop-gap measure. The most optimum outcome, regardless of the problem, is defined by the partnership between you and your medical providers; one cannot accomplish the desired goal without the other.
Physicians are being judged and yes, compensated, based on their ability to achieve well-defined results (quality and outcome measures) for you as determined by your individual problems. Many patients are also already being cast in the same light: higher insurance premiums and deductibles. In the future, access to various treatments may also be at least partially based on your demonstrated management of the treatment plan.
Are you doing your part?
Francis G. Wolf, MD, FACC, is a Aurora BayCare cardiologist whose fulltime practice is in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. He also sees patients in Valders, Wisconsin. Dr. Wolf's special interests include congestive heart failure, coronary CT angiography, heart disease in women, risk factor and lifestyle modification, and heart disease in an aging population.