Health vs Wealth: What do we value?

I have always been intrigued when presenting to group of educated healthcare consumers how much they know about the state of their economic wealth and how little they know about the state of their health care. On occasion I have asked the question, “Do you know your credit score?” I usually receive almost 100% affirmative answers. The follow-up question, “What do you know about your health records?” usually gets a series of questioning looks. Most of us know very little about the contents of our health records or their accuracy.

When I talk with sophisticated business men and women the discussion often centers around this disparity. They are very knowledgeable on matters of finance, yet they employ a Wealth Manager to manage and preserve their hard earned resources. However, when you move the discussion to healthcare, their knowledge base about the nuances of care and making appropriate professional and clinical choices is much more limited. In spite of this, few, if any, have empowered someone to navigate or advise them on issues of their health. The likely response is, “My doctor (usually an internist acting as the Primary Care Physician) is my health manager!”

This is like saying your stockbroker is your Wealth Manager. That may have been true 30 years ago, but today wealth management has become a very sophisticated and nuanced business that takes into account age, socio-demographics, risk tolerance and a multitude of other factors in developing an investment portfolio that has both short-term and long-term considerations.

Your doctor usually has allotted 8-minutes to spend with you before prescribing tests and prescriptions. A study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine indicates that less than 40% of primary care physicians inquire about the patient’s problems, presumably relying on the notes at intake or in the chart from previous visits. The study further indicates only 10% of specialists engage the patient about their problems.

The average time before a doctor interrupts when you are communicating with them is approximately 11 seconds.

A physician’s time is too limited to be able to listen completely for the answer before initiating treatment. This leaves very little time for your doctor to listen, acquire information, diagnose and treat you.  In those same 8-minutes, a stockbroker only has to complete a transaction. That’s why wealth managers have proliferated and taken on increasingly important roles in the preservation wealth.

“If I have a wealth manager handling my wealth why don’t I have a health manager handling my health?”

The most plausible answer is –  most people don’t think about their health in the same way they think about their wealth. We tend to wait for an emergency or crises to handle issues of healthcare.  Then in these stressful moments, we suddenly have to make the most critical decisions we will face.

This is where health managers of all our advisors and consultants show their true worth. In these circumstances, if we have been forward thinking, just like with our money, we will have our medical records in one place easily accessible and advisors who can tell us who are the most qualified physicians and health institutions to assure the best possible outcomes.  Just as our wealth managers have all of the information and data points to make urgent decisions, so too will our health managers if they have all of our medical records and risk scores. 

“If I have a wealth manager handling my wealth why don’t I have a health manager handling my health?”

Risk scoring is an evaluative process that allows a health manager to predict the likelihood their client will experience an unexpected health event based on the individual’s unique data composite.

We at Curus established our business with the tagline, “Because health is the greatest wealth there is.”

We have adhered to this concept as a part of our mission and purpose for those that we serve. We believe that the discerning healthcare consumer should have a health manager at their side to handle both the complicated and the mundane. The health manager, whether it be Curus or another qualified provider of these services, is an essential partner to sustaining the quality of life and enjoyment that can be realized utilizing the very resources that have been preserved and enhanced by our wealth managers.

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