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Guest Blog: One More Reason Patients Ask Doctors So Few Questions

Stephen Wilkins | March 31, 2011

The most popular post on my blog is entitled Five Reasons Why People Do Not Ask Their Doctor Questions. Well it seems there is a sixth reason. The Reason? Patients were never supposed to ask doctors questions.

Does My Doctor Trust Me (and Does It Matter)?

Jessie Gruman | March 30, 2011

Members of the American public are frequently surveyed about their trust in various professionals. Doctors and nurses usually wind up near the top of the list, especially when compared to lawyers, hairdressers and politicians. Trust in professionals is important to us: they possess expertise we lack but need, to solve problems ranging from the serious (illness) to the relatively trivial (appearance).

Guest Blog: Quality or Value? A Measure for the 21st Century

Marya Zilberberg | March 24, 2011

Fascinating, how in the same week two giants of evidence-based medicine have given such divergent views on the future of quality improvement. Donald Berwick, the CMS administrator and founder and former head of the Institute for Health Care Improvement, emphasizes the need for quality as the strategy for success in our healthcare system. But one of the fathers of EBM, Muir Gray, states that quality is so 20th century, and we need instead to shine the light on value. So, who is right?

The "True Grit"-tiness of Sharing Health Care Decisions with Our Doctors

Jessie Gruman | March 23, 2011

In the recent Coen brothers' remake of the 1969 movie True Grit, Mattie Ross, an intrepid 14-year-old, is determined to hunt down and kill the man who murdered her father. To accomplish this, she hires U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn, (played by a mumbling Jeff Bridges) a rough, one-eyed veteran of many such quests ' then announces that she plans to come along. She figures she is prepared.

How Code Creep Boosts the Price of Health Care

Trudy Lieberman | March 22, 2011

About 30 years ago I had my first run-in with code creep. A urologist I had visited for a garden-variety urinary tract infection billed $400 to determine that this was what I had. The price seemed excessive, and then I looked at the bill. The good doctor has 'unbundled' his services. He charged for every single thing he did'inserting a catheter, taking a urine sample, writing a prescription and finally adding a fee for a general office visit. I had thought all those things were part of the office visit. I protested. He reduced his charges, and I never went back.

Patient Perspectives: It's the Little Things

CFAH Staff | March 21, 2011

It's all the little things that make caring for yourself or the one's you love with an illness that much more challenging. People with diabetes, MS and Rheumatoid Arthritis share their experiences in this patient blog roundup.

Patient Perspectives: Unspoken Rules

CFAH Staff | March 18, 2011

When you've been to one clinic or hospital, you have been to one clinic or hospital. Each operates differently and expects patients to take on different roles and responsibilities, which are rarely explained.

We Can Overcome Chronic Disease Disparities

Chris Gibbons | March 17, 2011

According to American Medical News, the U.S. health system is demonstrating better performance on most measures of health care quality, but it's failing to improve access to care or cut racial and ethnic health disparities.

Poster Child for Survivorship Planning

Jessie Gruman | March 16, 2011

I am a poster child for why everyone who has had cancer needs to work with their doctor(s) to develop and implement a survivorship plan.

Will Medical Bankruptcy Be a Ghost of the Past?

Trudy Lieberman | March 15, 2011

During the health care debates, didn't you hear the president repeatedly tell the crowds that reform would mean that people would no longer be forced into bankruptcy because of illness? Insuring people who previously had no insurance does give them a cushion of protection and will mean that some of them will avoid bankruptcy court'but not all.

Conversation Continues: Evidence of the Effects of Empathy

CFAH Staff | March 11, 2011

A TIME article this week reveals new research that 'doctors who are more empathetic actually have healthier patients.' More on empathy and its role in health outcomes.....

Prepared Patient: Hospice Care: What Is It, Anyway?

Health Behavior News Service | March 10, 2011

Three a.m. can be a lonely time for caregivers. But when Renata Rafferty's husband Jerome struggled to breathe late one night, she knew she wasn't completely alone. Though it was the middle of the night when Renata called, the on-call nurse at their hospice responded immediately: arranging medical equipment and a nurse to check on Jerome. Now, months after Jerome's death, Renata says hospice 'is not the place you go to die, it's the place you go to celebrate and finish your life, in an environment where that is the sole and only focus.'

1st Person: Hospice, My Husband and Me

First Person | March 10, 2011

As Jerome Rafferty, diagnosed with a progressive form of dementia and an incurable, antibiotic-resistant infection, became more ill, his wife, Renata Rafferty, used hospice services at home initially to assist her in caring for him.

Inside Health Care: Building Relationships with Patients

CFAH Staff | March 8, 2011

A blog round-up on the importance of building relationships with patients---starting early with medical students. Hospital administrators and specialists also weigh in with solutions.

Reform Is Not To Blame For Rising Health Care Costs

Jim Jaffe | March 7, 2011

In a development so predictable that it hardly merits being called news, American health care costs continue to rise and opponents of the new health reform law say the Obama plan is to blame. Some small employers report massive insurance premium increases.

Patient Perspectives: Paying for Health Care

CFAH Staff | March 4, 2011

This week's roundup features the patient voices of Brad Wright and Monte Jaffe and the decisions they made when faced with expensive health care costs.

Say What? Do Patients Really Hear What Doctors Tell Them?

Carolyn Thomas | March 3, 2011

I had a heart attack two years ago and was taken immediately to the O.R. for a stent implantation. Overwhelmed and terrified, I knew nothing of what was about to happen to me. What I learned later was that my stent may help a newly-opened artery to stay open. But a new study now suggests heart patients believe that stents have far greater benefits than they actually do. Should it be up to patients to ensure that doctor-patient communication is accurate or effective during an emotionally overwhelming medical event?

It's Time to Tango: Impatient With Progress on Patient-Physician Partnerships

Jessie Gruman | March 2, 2011

The other day I came across this photo of a couple clasping each other in a dramatic tango on the cover of an old medical journal'a special issue from 1999 that was focused entirely on doctor-patient partnerships. The tone and subjects of the articles, letters and editorials were identical to those written today on the topic: 'it's time for the paternalism of the relationship between doctors and patients to be transformed into a partnership;' 'there are benefits to this change and dangers to maintaining the status quo;' 'some doctors and patients resist the change and some embrace it: why?'

How the Cost of Health Care Creeps Up and Up

Trudy Lieberman | March 1, 2011

In a previous post, I talked about what happens when a radiology practice goes digital for mammography, even though there's scant evidence that more-expensive digital is better than cheaper film for detecting cancer in older women. Yet the higher-priced costly procedure is winning out. That's pretty much the norm for U.S. health care, for instance, when ThinPrep replaced the conventional method for doing Pap smears. I used to pay $9 for the test; the one I had last summer cost $250.

Meaningful Health Care

Chris Gibbons | March 1, 2011

iHealthbeat is reporting that, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute report, health care providers might not meet Stage 2 meaningful use rules unless they more actively engage patients about their role in the use of health IT. Although the National Coordinator for Health IT, David Blumenthal, has dubbed 2011 the beginning of the "era of Meaningful Use", it is clear that it is not clear what Meaningful Uses actually means.