“Everything is negotiable,” says Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, a dynamic speaker, writer, trainer, and retired Air Force Master Sergeant whom I have the honor of knowing in my Rockstar Mastermind group. Her book and seminars titled Think Like A Negotiator help people of all walks of life develop confidence in the art of negotiation. Our interview is here.
What do negotiation skills have to do with your health care? Everything. Steven Brill’s TIME cover story Bitter Pill exposes how hospitals arbitrarily inflate charges while expecting patients to bargain for a lower price. The problem is patients aren’t told that they’re supposed to bargain. Heath care consumers need skills to negotiate in order to navigate through the labyrinthine world of health insurance. In advocating for my patients, I’ve learned that you have a right:
*to immediately appeal after first being denied services or procedures
*to carefully craft arguments that get medications approved
*to fight for reasonable prices for x-rays
*to get access to very special specialists outside of the insurance’s network
The next time you get a health care decision you don’t agree with, don’t be silent. Take Eldonna’s advice and think like a negotiator. Your health depends on it.