I am a Kaiser patient, now for over 20 years. I like my physician but often get tired of navigating the system. It feels like swimming upstream. The system is designed to provide the maximum range of health care to meet the median need. I’m sure it is far more cost effective than most health care models. I don’t like feeling like another peg in a hole.
I opened email today to learn of a new digital health screening tool and linked education resources offered through Kaiser. Before I could stop rolling my eyes, I decided to fill out the initial questionnaire. I wanted to see what questions they are asking. I wanted to find out what they would recommend for me.
With 17 pages of feedback, I find that I ranked 84, very good but not excellent. I’m taken aback, but already know a few of the issues. I just happen to view things differently. What was recommended? Here’s the short list.
1. Lose weight
2. Decrease cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels
3. Get counseling for my depressive symptoms
4. Decide if I want my skin to be safe from the sun
On every other issue I received a bright green check mark and a hearty “Good job!” I exercise regularly, sleep adequately, and manage stress pretty well.
I eat a healthy diet. I drive safe, I have been faithful for 27 years with the same man and I am up to date with my pap smear, mammography, colonoscopy and immunizations.
BUT I DISAGREE
Too bad the screening tool is not sophisticated enough for a patient to address why digital counselor’s recommendations are off the mark. My number one complaint is that the tool doesn’t offer any place for the patient to explain their position.
The assumption is that anything other than willingness to go along with the algorithmic recommendations indicates someone who is not motivated to take care of their health.
Why does a tool that is supposed to help makes so many assumptions that feel paternalistic and patronizing?
Up next–my responses to each of the recommendations.