Patients and experts explore what it takes to find good health care and make the most of it.

Prepared patient blog

Medical Errors: Will We Act Up, Fight Back?

Center for Advancing Health | October 22, 2014

A new report, "The Politics of Patient Harm: Medical Error and the Safest Congressional Districts," is an alarming reminder that the 200,000 or more preventable medical errors in U.S. hospitals remain stubbornly high and dangerously under-addressed. In early 2013, CFAH's founder and president, the late Jessie Gruman, challenged readers about the crisis: "It is needlessly killing a lot of people and those who have the responsibility to stop it have not made meaningful progress... Are you outraged? If not, why?"...

Prepared Patient Blog

A Patient's Perspective on the High Cost of Cancer Drugs

Andrew Schorr | October 21, 2014
Many cancer therapies now cost over $100,000 a year. Obviously, this expenditure is not sustainable for the majority of patients. At age 64, I am approaching Medicare coverage. Will I have the 20 percent co-pay to shoulder? As more people survive cancer and remain on ongoing medicines, the U.S. has to have a fair and open discussion about the cost of these medicines...

Prepared Patient Blog

How Differently Patients and Doctors View Health Technology, With Dr. Eric Topol

Jane Sarasohn Kahn | October 20, 2014
Ninety-one percent of doctors are concerned about giving patients access to their detailed electronic health records, anticipating patients will feel anxious about the results. Only 34 percent of consumers are concerned about anxiety-due-to-EHR-exposure. Welcome to the digital health chasm, the gap between what consumers want out of digital health and what doctors believe patients can handle...

Prepared Patient Blog

A Testimonial to Jessie Gruman

Judith Miller Jones | October 15, 2014
The Center for Advancing Health's board of trustees and staff hosted a reception this past Thursday, October 9, in honor of Jessie Gruman, CFAH's founder and president until her death on July 14. Speakers included colleagues, family members and guests. Below is a reprint of the speech by Judith Miller Jones, MA, director of the National Health Policy Forum at George Washington University, who said of the reception: "What a broad assemblage it was, yet another testament to Jessie’s reach."

Prepared Patient Blog

Shopping for a Medicare Advantage Plan — Once Again!

Trudy Lieberman | October 15, 2014
I have just done something I said I would never do: shop for a Medicare Advantage plan to cover my gaps in Medicare. The usual flyers and brochures from sellers of Medicare Advantage plans began to arrive in the mail with their enticing sales pitches, and one nearly fooled me. Short of having a Medicare representative on the phone, you're stuck in an information swamp. No wonder studies show that beneficiaries are not eager to shop around even if they can get a new policy with a smaller monthly premium...

Prepared Patient Blog

A Doctor's Dilemma of Prescribing for Pain

Kenny Lin | October 14, 2014
I have complicated feelings about prescribing for chronic pain. On one hand, I recognize that relieving headaches, backaches, arthritis and nerve pain has been a core responsibility of the medical profession for ages. On the other hand, deaths and emergency room visits from overdoses of prescription painkillers have skyrocketed. I believe that addiction is a disease. So why do I find my patient's lies so hard to forgive?...

Prepared Patient Blog

Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Jessie Gruman

Center for Advancing Health | October 8, 2014
Family, friends and colleagues gathered at the New York Academy of Medicine this past Sunday, October 5, to celebrate the life of Jessie Gruman, CFAH's founder and president until her death on July 14. The program, which included remarkable photos from throughout Jessie's life, can be viewed here...

Prepared Patient Blog

Who Chooses the Medicines You Get – Your Doctor or Your Insurance Plan?

Trudy Lieberman | October 8, 2014
A friend of mine suddenly learned the importance of patient engagement a few weeks ago when a matter affecting his pocketbook grabbed his attention. For the last several years the mantra has been "buy generics" as a way to lower the cost of drugs for consumers but also for the nation. For a while insurers did that. Not anymore...

More Prepared Patient Blogs