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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • February 2018
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Are you asking your doctor the right questions?

Consumers are central to the changes needed to control health care and insurance cost, yet health care consumers are rarely asked what they want and need.

Asking the right questions and listening leads to better answers.

Many years ago, there was a consumer survey that asked, “What do you want from your doctor most?” The top four responses were as follows:

  1. Wait fewer than 15 minutes in the waiting area for a scheduled appointment
  2. Doctor help with exercise
  3. Doctor help with food
  4. Doctor help with stress

This is an eye opener for health care providers as they look to provide greater value to patients to achieve better health outcomes. It is also an eye opener for consumers who never thought about directly asking their doctor or health professional for help with everyday lifestyle needs.

While most clinics have gotten very good at scheduling patient appointments, doctor help with fitness, nutrition and stress-relief is limited.

It takes effort from the consumer and doctor, but take a look at what is possible. In 2016 Geisinger Health, an integrated insurance and health care provider in Pennsylvania launched “Fresh Food Farmacy.” It’s a program where doctors prescribe a food program before or in conjunction with prescription medication. In a very short time this program has helped 250 patients, with many getting off medicines and some saving up to 80 percent on medical costs.

To learn more, go to

Use this type of program to ask questions of your doctor and other health professionals on what you can do on your own for better fitness, nutrition and stress-relief.

When you ask the right questions, you will learn about what’s best for you and how to take action.

Could a “Fresh Food Farmacy” approach benefit me?

John Ulness

John Ulness is co-owner of Ulness Health Insurance & Wellness in Appleton. He helps people in Wisconsin understand their health insurance options to control costs and enroll. He can be reached at 1-800-386-0876 or [email protected]

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