Expect a lot of growing pains concerning your health care as the health care system undergoes some big changes. With health care becoming a national standard, hospital funding by the government will be tied to patient satisfaction surveys and overall quality care. The amount hospitals receive from the government may be at risk in light of the growing shortage of doctors, which will ultimately have an impact on patient experiences.

Health Care Advocate Michelle Katz (photo courtesy of Michelle Katz)

Health Care Advocate Michelle Katz (photo courtesy of Michelle Katz)

Health care advocate Michelle Katz believes that the changes won’t get rid of the headaches caused by outrageous medical bills. Katz is a licensed practical nurse with a masters in integrated health systems management from Georgetown University who has written the book “Healthcare for Less” on managing medical debt after she herself faced thousands of dollars in medical bills both with and without insurance.

Katz worked with hospitals and medical groups on their revenue cycles before getting pulled into the political realm of health care. Now she helps people get out of or avoid medical debt with her health care savings tips.

Katz believes education is the most important part of what she does. Not only has education for herself been crucial to her success, but so has the education she provides to others.

“My education has really helped me to understand the ‘language’ of the health care system, the politics of health care, as well as the ‘rules’ of the system and how to manage the ever-changing health care environment,” says the licensed nurse. Through this enhanced understanding of the health care system, Katz is able to educate others in a way that makes sense of them without all the industry jargon.

“Education is a constant, especially in the health care system,” says Katz. “Most clinically-based schools will emphasize critical thinking and theory, but it is up to you to put these tools to practice while keeping up with the changes and advancements.”

The biggest piece of advice Katz has to offer to both patients and those pursuing a career in health care is to always ask for clarification if something doesn’t make sense to you. “I hate to sound cliche, but knowledge is power, and a little bit of kindness, especially in health care, will go a long way.”

Niki Payne is a freelance writer covering all things Entertainment in Los Angeles. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.


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