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Contemplating Safety While Lying Down

Jessie Gruman | November 1, 2010

You have to get out of this hospital it's a dangerous place, each of my physician friends exclaimed when they came to visit me during my recent stay after surgery for stomach cancer.

What You Need to Know About Your Health Insurance Policy

Trudy Lieberman | October 29, 2010

Federal and state government officials and their opponents in the insurance industry have been busy as beavers these days chewing on that perennially vexing problem: how to disclose insurance information so consumers will be wise shoppers. Since we have a market-based model of health insurance, that's not a frivolous question. What works best, what doesn't, and what do consumers acting as shoppers really care about?

Inside Health Care: Trusted Sources?

Inside Health Care | October 29, 2010

The increasing presence (sometime hidden) of advertisers in health care websites - including the new Sharecare - was discussed this week by healthcare journalists Gary Schwitzer and Pia Christensen, Dr. Elaine Schattner, M.D. and marketer and advertiser Dan Dunlop

Patient Perspectives

CFAH Staff | October 28, 2010

This week's collection of patient perspectives includes Patient Power's Andrew Schorr, Leighann Calentine of D-Mom Blog, e-Patient Dave, and RA Warrior Kelly Young.

Free Aneurysm Screenings: Not All K-Mart Blue Light Specials Are Bargains

Gary Schwitzer | October 28, 2010

K-Mart, Medtronic, and a bunch of specialty medical groups are sponsoring a campaign called "Find the AAAnswers" - the AAA standing for abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Inside Health Care: Combating Mis-Communication

Inside Health Care | October 27, 2010

Now or Later

Chris Gibbons | October 26, 2010

The October 19 edition of iHealthBeat is reporting that National Coordinator for Health IT David Blumenthal and HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health Garth Graham have asked health IT vendors for their help in preventing a "digital divide" involving health care providers who serve minority communities. Blumenthal and Graham called on these vendors to make sure they target such health care providers in their marketing and sales campaigns.

Patient Perspectives

CFAH Staff | October 25, 2010

This week's collection of patient perspectives includes DCPatient's Donna Cryer, Amy Tenderich from Diabetes Mine, Kelly Young the RA Warrior, author Paula Span, and Patient Power's Andrew Schorr.

The Conversation Continues 'Follow It Here:

CFAH Staff | October 22, 2010

A new commentary by Peter Frishauf, Fixing Those Damn Lies, has been posted on that follows up on Monday's post about Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science, an article in the current issue of The Atlantic Monthly. e-Patient Dave advises us to be sure to read Peter's footnotes.

How Useful Is the Government's Hospital Compare Web Site?

Trudy Lieberman | October 22, 2010

Well, what do you know? Another study surfaced this week raising more questions about the usefulness of the information on the federal government's Hospital Compare web site, just at a time when most of us are thinking about choosing new health plans for next year. For some time now, the standard advice has been to look at all available data for the doctors and hospitals in the plans you are considering. That has meant heading to the Medicare Web site and its Hospital Compare data set.

Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Blues And Why

Jim Jaffe | October 21, 2010

Some broad questions about how bad it is to be big are raised by the government's new antitrust suit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which allegedly used its market dominance to force hospitals to charge other insurers a third more than the insurance giant paid. One can see how this could help the nonprofit Blues control the market, but it is difficult to determine how this was in the public interest ' or even advantageous to those it was covering.

What Can Health Care Professionals Do About Poverty?

Connie Davis | October 20, 2010

A colleague of mine, Cheryl, has been trying to help a solo physician address a thorny issue. Through the use of 'How's Your Health', an amazing Web-based suite of health and practice tools, the physician realized that many of her patients struggled with maintaining an adequate income. Cheryl went looking for some ideas for the physician, and she came across this: Health Providers Against Poverty, an Ontario-based group that has a toolkit to help primary care professionals address poverty issues.

Direct-to-Consumer Health Care

Chris Gibbons | October 19, 2010

On October 11, 2010, Baltimore Sun reporter Meredith Cohn reported that some U.S. health care providers are experimenting with trying to reach patients through social media and reaping big rewards. Providers are not just using Twitter and Facebook but trying new social media tools like Groupon, Foursquare, Scoutmob and LivingSocial that all blend social media with market forces to bring customers value and create new revenue for entrepreneurs, business owners and now health care providers.

Atlantic: Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science

Society for Participatory Medicine | October 18, 2010

There's an extraordinary new article in The Atlantic, 'Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science.' It echoes the excellent article in our Journal of Participatory Medicine (JoPM) one year ago this week, by Richard W. Smith, 25 year editor of the British Medical Journal: In Search Of an Optimal Peer Review System.

Patient Posts Around the Web

CFAH Staff | October 15, 2010

A collection of patient voices from around the web. This week's roundup includes: pediatrician, blogger and mother of two Wendy Swanson, aka Seattle Mama Doc (; Kelly Young, the RA Warrior (; and Amy Tendrich of Diabetes Mine (

Revisiting Those Puzzling EOBs: New York Penalizes Aetna

Trudy Lieberman | October 14, 2010

Selecting Health Insurance? Help from Around the Web:

CFAH Staff | October 13, 2010

In his most recent blog, "How to Pick Good Health Insurance - Your Life Depends on It," Dr. Davis Liu emphasizes how important is it for us to evaluate carefully our health insurance plans. Liu points out that, unlike other companies or products whose efficacy may impact our lives modestly ' your car wash, dry cleaners and choice of movie theater ' the ranking of your health insurance plan relative to others impacts your life greatly. And not all health plans are created equal.

Is Health Care Killing Us?

Chris Gibbons | October 8, 2010

Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor at Reuters, is reporting that a recent study suggests that Americans die sooner than citizens of a dozen other developed nations and the usual suspects ' obesity, traffic accidents and a high murder rate ' are not to blame. Instead, poor health care may be the cause.

The Medicare Sales Season Begins: As Always, Buyer Beware!

Trudy Lieberman | October 7, 2010

Patient Posts Around the Web

Kafi Grigsby | October 6, 2010

A collection of patient voices from around the web. This week: Regina Holliday, artist, widow and health IT advocate, Trish Torrey, Patient Empowerment blogger, and Amy Trenderich, Diabetes Mine blogger.

Could Less Health Care Be Better for Our Health?

Jim Jaffe | October 4, 2010

Communication Complications

Chris Gibbons | October 1, 2010

A recently published study in the August issue of Archives of Internal Medicine reveals that there are significant gaps between what doctors think their patients know and what patients say they know. The findings are based on a survey of 89 patients and 43 physicians conducted between October 2008 and June 2009 at Waterbury Hospital affiliated with Yale School of Medicine. Researchers found that some of the discrepancies relate to basic information. For example, two-thirds of physicians thought patients knew their names. But only 18 percent of patients could correctly say their names.