Beware! This year’s Medicare Open Enrollment period runs from October 15 – December 7. I call it “MediScare” season because private Medicare Advantage insurers try to scare consumers into signing up for their plans. These Advantage plans often over-promise and under-deliver, putting patients at risk. During Open Enrollment, current and future Medicare recipients are bombarded…
The Patient Navigator Blog
In this podcast published in June 2022 by the Moss Reports, I’ll speak about the journey that led me into my pioneering second career as a patient navigator and the patient advocacy profession that has since been created as a necessity to overcome the failings and complexities of the American healthcare delivery system. I will…
This post was contributed by guest writer Alicia Blair In Carnegie Mellon University’s insights on making decisions in a COVID-19 world, researchers note that the pandemic has posed difficult but interdependent decision-making challenges for professionals and individuals alike. Professionals need to base decisions on relevant health protocols, such as when to keep establishments open. On the…
When I tell people that I am a patient advocate and my job is to help patients and families navigate through our healthcare system, they often respond “I wish I had known you when ….” They tell me stories about when they were overwhelmed, confused, afraid, or unsatisfied by our complicated, expensive, and often inefficient…
A recent article in the Washington Post caught my attention and reminded me how important it is for anyone on Medicare to keep up with rule changes. This article is especially timely for any patient scheduled for a surgery because of some drastic changes to the list of surgeries that can be performed as a…
Four things you must know when serious illness strikes: Get Smart Fast. Get Organized. Stand Your Ground, Nicely. Always Follow Up. Read this article for detailed helpful hints.
Patient advocacy, or patient navigation, is gaining attention as an emerging profession, both in the media and in the popular lexicon, because it fills so many gaps in the current American health care system. This is especially true today as we continue implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is changing the landscape for consumers in how health care is delivered and paid for in this country.
Patient Navigator LLC was interviewed for this excellent reporting by Jeff Blyskal at Consumers’ Checkbook. His article explains clearly the many ways an advocate can help patients and families solve problems and find their way through the healthcare maze. If you’d like to learn more about how an advocate can help you, now or in…
Being diagnosed with a serious illness is a frightening experience. It is important that you research and educate yourself about your disease and learn to communicate with your medical team. An informed patient gets better results.
Any serious diagnosis thrusts patients and their families into an unfamiliar world of doctors, tests and treatment options. Here are my suggestions as you begin the journey through illness.
Easter Seals Project ACTION and the American Medical Association have a new pocket guide for patient transportation options before or after a medical procedure.
Patient navigation and patient advocacy are dynamic and growing professions. This article explores the background and current landscape of patient navigation and advocacy.
The bewildering sensation of too much information, yet not enough knowledge to use it, is the reality for many people faced with a serious illness or condition. How do you decide what to do?
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.
According to an analysis by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, about 1% of the privately insured population drives about 25% of overall health costs.
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.
Women, in particular, are sometimes reluctant to seek a second opinion. Learn how and when a second opinion can be life-saving.
Yoga, pilates, chiropractic care and acupuncture offer natural therapies for back pain. Surgery may end up being necessary, but the patient should explore these alternative other options first.
Preventing hospital infections: 1) Wash hands with soap; 2) Clean patient’s skin with antiseptic; 3) put sterile drapes over entire patient; 4) Wear a sterile mask, gown, hat and gloves; 5) put a sterile dressing over the catheter site. Many hospitals fail this test.
Every person has the right to fully participate in decisions regarding his or her own health care. This legal doctrine is called the right to informed consent. As a patient or caregiver, you have the right and responsibility to obtain as much information as you need to be able to commit to a course of treatment or testing process.
When her son’s pediatrician said she had never heard of the National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov), this young mom was blown away. Should she worry about entrusting her son’s care to a doctor who has never heard of this world-famous institution? Comments invited.
“Cyberchondriacs” spend hours at the computer screen, typing in symptoms, or fears, wading through the results, both accurate and inaccurate, and convincing themselves they have a certain condition. Often, they will print out reams of documentation and present themselves to their doctors, having already diagnosed their “condition” and determined a course of treatment.
Research has shown that dark chocolate improves blood vessel functioning, thus lowering blood pressure, taking stress off your heart and helping your blood circulate more efficiently. Dark chocolate also has antioxidant qualities, which come from flavonoids found in cocoa. So on Valentine’s Day, nothing says “I love you” like some delicious, dark chocolate
Access to investigational therapies is a highly debated topic in the medical world. Investigational therapy involves drugs that are being scientifically tested but not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Often these drugs are offered through programs such as “compassionate use programs,” and “expanded access programs” to allow seriously ill patients access…