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The Patient Navigator Blog


From advice on specific illnesses to tips on how to communicate with your specialists, there’s a wealth of knowledge on the Patient Navigator blog.

Recent Posts

Problem Solving

Crazy Medication Costs Can Be Conquered


Americans pay more for most medications than most countries. The power of the pharmaceutical lobbies is a topic for another day. But the consequences are real for every American, whether using private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, other insurance or paying out-of-pocket. A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with a type of adult-onset asthma. After three…

Cancer

Virtual Colonoscopy – Is It For You?


In a new study led by a physician at the Mayo Clinic’s facility in Phoenix and published in the journal Radiology, the investigators determined that the virtual technique was just as effective for patients over age 65 as those aged 50-65.

Cancer

Health Literacy Spotlight


Only 12% of Americans have proficient health literacy skills, so the majority of adults may have difficulty completing routine health tasks like understanding discharge instructions or diabetes care. There is a strong, independent association between health literacy and health outcomes.

Caregivers

Holiday Grieving – My Tips for Survival


Many people experience depression during the holiday season. Now imagine trying to face it when you are grieving the loss of a loved one. It is very hard. It is painful. It is unbearably sad. Here are my own tips on how to get through the holidays if you are grieving.

Chronic Disease

Defensive Medicine Costs Spelled Out


The practice of defensive medicine decreases patient access to health care, and increases costs of health care for everyone. Some patients are left in the lurch as physicians avoid the sickest patients, or those requiring higher-risk procedures, in order to reduce their exposure to malpractice suits. A 2008 study by the Massachusetts Medical Society found that 83% of its physicians practiced defensive medicine at a cost of more than $1.4 billion annually in that state alone.

Elder Care

When Should Seniors Stop Driving?


One of the central aspects of American culture is independence. When a person can no longer drive safely, he or she loses a huge degree of that independence. Proper preparation and discussion can help ease the process.

Cancer

Medical Community Issues Guidelines on Caregiving


The Journal of General Internal Medicine recently released ethical guidelines addressing patient, physician, and caregiver relationships. The medical community is increasingly respecting the role of caregivers and offering guidance on how to develop that relationship.

Caregivers

“Advocates Help Patients Navigate Health Care Maze”


On June 22, NPR reporter Richard Knox aired this story during the “Morning Edition” broadcast.  It was an excellent piece profiling efforts by an individual and a volunteer organization to help patients and families get the care they need to navigate our health care and elder care systems.  Each time the media does a piece on…

Cancer

Patient Navigators Guide Us Through the Medical Maze


The March 29, 2009 edition of Parade magazine featured an article about the new specialty of patient navigation.  The article highlights some of what navigators can do.  For now, the National Cancer Institute has undertaken several pilot projects to train and deploy navigators in medically underserved areas.   But as the article also correctly points out, patient navigators…