7 Tips for Planning Your First PH Appointment
Being diagnosed with a serious lung and heart condition such as pulmonary hypertension is stressful and overwhelming. To make things a little easier for you, we’ve put together this list of seven tips that you could use to plan your first pulmonary hypertension appointment with your new doctor. (source: Pulmonary Hypertension Association website):
Learning about PH will help you understand and cope better with the condition. Having a basic understanding of common PH terms, types of treatments, or just about the condition in general could do wonders for your confidence in moving forward.
Don’t wait until you get to your appointment to take care of paperwork; it might stress you out even more than you already are. Call your doctor’s office in advance and ask if they can send the new patient paperwork to you via fax, email, or postal service. Don’t forget to make copies to keep for your own records before handing the original paperwork to the office.
Make sure you have a health insurance plan and read it thoroughly so you know the types of treatments and appointments it covers. If necessary, call your doctor’s office or your insurance company to learn more about its conditions and to get answers to these specific questions:
- Do you have prescription coverage?
- What is your co-pay structure?
- Do you need referrals and prior authorization and how do you obtain them?
Get yourself a document organizer to store all your medical information in and carry it with you at all times. It’s important in case something unexpected happens. Make sure you take it to your first appointment and every appointment from then on. Here are some ideas for things to carry in it:
- A list of all your doctors and their contact information
- A list of all your medications and useful information about them (name of the medication, the dosage you need and how frequently, the reason why you taking those meds and when you first started taking them, etc).
- Always carry a copy of all your medical records
- Test and lab results
Make sure you feel comfortable speaking openly with your doctor. Bring your list of already prepared questions and don’t forget to ask what pulmonary hypertension really is, what types of treatments are available and best for you, and what types of lifestyle changes you should make.
Ask a friend or family member to accompany you to your first appointment. Your loved ones can provide support in the waiting room, confirm that you ran through all your questions, take notes on your doctor’s responses, and offer moral and emotional support.
This may sound silly, but it’s really important. If you know exactly where your new doctor’s office is you will have one less thing to stress about when you’re heading to your appointment. Whether you’re going by car, public transport or even walking, leave home with time to spare and be sure of the route and parking options if needed.
Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.