PREPARED PATIENT BLOG

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

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Are You a DIY Traveler/Patient?

Dorothy Jeffress | July 30, 2010

Once upon a time, most people traveling outside the US depended on a travel agent and some were only comfortable when they were part of an organized tour. Finding top hotels or out of the way adventures was best left to experts. Travel guides available at bookstores, though often outdated, were gripped in sweaty hands, consulted like Bibles.

Keeping an Eye on Insurance Rate Hikes

Trudy Lieberman | July 29, 2010


Why Ask if You Won't Help Me

Dorothy Jeffress | July 28, 2010

In a recent iHealthBeat post, Steve Findlay talks about a provision in the new meaningful use rules for health information technology issued by DHSS. Findlay noted that nothing seems to have moved the needle on people completing advance directives. He expressed hope that this can now be rectified if hospitals embrace the optional (menu set) meaningful use objective that promotes recording the existence of an advance directive in a person's EHR. It's a start.

Who's Got My Back?

Jessie Gruman | July 27, 2010

Last week The New York Times published a front-page feature about how diagnosing breast cancer can be surprisingly difficult, prone to both outright error and case-by-case disagreement over whether a cluster of cells is benign or malignant.

Chicago Doctor Reveals Hidden Health Care Pricing'.

Trudy Lieberman | July 22, 2010


Watched, Loved and Now Desired by Millions

Dorothy Jeffress | July 20, 2010

If popular culture provides clues to social trends then all signs point to an American public captivated by red velvet, carrot, lemon, and raspberry. Fabric, fruits and vegetables? No cakes whether of the cup variety or fancy full-size versions.

Will I Do it for My DNA? Can Personalized Medicine Spark Healthier Behavior?

Jessie Gruman | July 15, 2010

The 10th Anniversary of the decoding of the human genome has prompted a whole new round of media coverage on progress toward 'personalized medicine i.e., approaches that use genetic information to prevent or treat disease in adults or their children. Not only will drugs be carefully tailored to our individual genetic profile, we will also be able to reduce risks and enhance our health by taking specific lifestyle-related actions that are determined by our unique constellation of DNA.

Paying to Participate

Goldie Pyka | July 14, 2010


What Happens When an Insurance Company Misbehaves

Trudy Lieberman | July 12, 2010

When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) took the rare step this spring of kicking Fox Insurance out of the Medicare Part D drug benefit program, it pretty much went unnoticed. CMS went after Fox, admittedly small fry in the pool of insurers, and said they couldn't sell any more stand-alone prescription drug plans to seniors These plans are the kind that people buy to complement Medigap policies that don't offer any drug coverage.

Sunshine Isn't So Bright After All

Sarah Jorgenson | July 9, 2010

A recent article in MedPage Today reported that most physicians have a favorable view about gifts from pharmaceutical and medical technology companies. What do we, as patients or potential patients, think about that?

Lead Us Not into Expectations

Jessie Gruman | July 6, 2010

Have you noticed that when health experts discuss the high cost of care, they often assert that our demands for more and more advanced -- care are driving the upward trajectory of its cost?

Obama and My Uncle Johnny

Kafi Grigsby | July 2, 2010

I was home relaxing when I received a call from Uncle Johnny. When I saw on the Caller-ID that it was him, I braced myself. Calls with my Uncle Johnny were never brief, by nature he was loud so I had to yell too, and his conversations always involved more than a few swear words. My uncle has been described as a gun not a pistol, but a gun!