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Published on January 08, 2014

Make Preventive Care Personal

January 8, 2014

Doctor holding heartDiabetes, heart disease, and other chronic disease account for 75 percent of overall healthcare spending and are responsible for seven in 10 American deaths each year, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. A primary goal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is to redress the burden of long-term illnesses.

“For years, the focus of healthcare has been treating the sick,” says Michael Kulisz, DO, chief medical officer for KishHealth System. “What has become apparent is that prevention is the key to everything, including saving lives and money and living better each day. Prevention is the present and future of healthcare.”

Start Today

Achieving the healthiest version of yourself may require a lifestyle change makeover, but it’s not a change you have to accomplish overnight. Take the first step toward personal healthcare accountability by establishing one of the most important  relationships you’ll ever have: a bond of trust and honest communication with a primary care physician (PCP). As your partner for better health, your PCP will help you take the long view of prevention.

“We live in an instantaneous society,” says Pamela Duffy, RN, vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer for KishHealth System. “If a provider tells a patient to lose weight or risk developing diabetes, the patient might become frustrated because he or she can’t drop 20 pounds immediately or envision what life will be like in 20 years if he or she can’t control the weight gain. Providers are trying to reverse this way of thinking.”

Once you’ve established a connection with a PCP, slowly begin implementing his or her suggestions for living a healthier life by taking small, positive steps, such as walking around your neighborhood for 15 minutes each day or adding a serving of fruit to your breakfast. Over time make more and greater changes, and your life and health will benefit.

By now, you know the PPACA is causing a sizable shift in the healthcare landscape, but you can keep it in perspective by remembering it’s all about you and the actions you take to stay healthy. When you exercise, eat a banana, and visit your PCP for your annual physical exam, everyone – from you and your family to the strangers you pass in the supermarket – benefits.

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