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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The Cognitive Traps We All Fall Into

Harriet Hall | May 26, 2011

In my recent review of Peter Palmieri's book Suffer the Children I said I would later try to cover some of the many other important issues he brings up. One of the themes in the book is the process of critical thinking and the various cognitive traps doctors fall into. I will address some of them here. This is not meant to be systematic or comprehensive, but rather a miscellany of things to think about. Some of these overlap.

What Must We Know About What Our Doctors Know?

Jessie Gruman | May 25, 2011

The most important thing I learned was that different doctors know different things: I need to ask my internist different questions than I do my oncologist. This was not some sweet ingénue recounting the early lessons she learned from a recent encounter with health care. Nope. It was a 62-year-old woman whose husband has been struggling with multiple myeloma for the last eight years and who herself has chronic back pain, high blood pressure and high cholesterol and was at the time well into treatment for breast cancer.

The Conversation Continues: Vitamins and Supplements

CFAH Staff | May 24, 2011

Consumer Reports warns us to be aware of unregulated dietary supplements and provides some valuable resources for people considering taking supplements or who currently do.

Turning 65: Finding a Prescription Drug Plan

Trudy Lieberman | May 23, 2011

If I were to choose a Medigap policy to supplement my basic Medicare coverage, I would still have to buy a separate plan for prescription drugs, since Medigap sellers can't include drug benefits in those policies.

Guest Blog: How To Find Reliable Medical Content On The Internet

Margaret Polaneczky | May 20, 2011

Site Jabber, a website funded by the National Science Foundation to help internet users separate the scams and frauds from real content, called and asked me for advice on how to find good medical content on the web. The interview reads like a huge promotion for my blog, something I was not expecting and for which I thank them profusely.

Why Do People Stop Taking Their Cancer Meds?

David Harlow | May 19, 2011

David Harlow highlights recent research that finds that people stopped taking their cancer medications due to high costs and a burden from taking a number of prescription drugs broadening the picture of poor medication adherence.

No Magic Pill to Cure Poor Medication Adherence

Jessie Gruman | May 18, 2011

You are sick with something-or-other and your doctor writes you a prescription for a medication. She briefly tells you what it's for and how to take it. You go to the pharmacy, pick up the medication, go home and follow the instructions, right? I mean, how hard could it be? Pretty hard, it appears. Between 20 percent to 80 percent of us ' differing by disease and drug ' don't seem to be able to do it.

Better Health's Grand Rounds Volume 7 #34

CFAH Staff | May 17, 2011

We received more than 40 contributions for this week's collection of health care blogs and columns. Patients, clinicians, policy wonks and interesting folks with opinions submitted original posts that are sure to expand your thinking and perspectives.

Turning 65: Finding a Medigap Policy

Trudy Lieberman | May 12, 2011

The first step after reading my collection of Medicare Advantage, prescription drug, and Medigap sales brochures was to find a way to fill in core Medicare coverage gaps'the deductibles for hospital stays and doctor care and the coinsurance for physician visits, lab tests, and hospital outpatient treatment that could really leave me with an unwelcome bill. I would have to pay 20 percent of those bills if I didn't have supplemental coverage.

Patient-Centered Care: From Exam Room to Dinner Table

Jessie Gruman | May 11, 2011

Only one in 10 respondents to a national survey could estimate how many calories they should consume in a day. Seventy-nine percent make few or no attempts to pay attention to the balance between the calories they consume and expend in a day.These and other piquant findings from the online 2011 Food and Health Survey fielded by the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) struck home last week as I smacked up against my own ignorance about a healthy diet and the difficulty of changing lifelong eating habits.

We're Hosting Grand Rounds for Better Health on Tuesday, May 17th

CFAH Staff | May 10, 2011

We're hosting Grand Rounds for Better Health on Tuesday, May 17th. Grand Rounds is a curated collection of top recent health care blog posts. Please submit any blog contributions for the May 17th Grand Rounds to grandrounds@cfah.org by Sunday, May 15th. We look forward to hearing from you, and be sure to check out our collection for Grand Rounds here on the Prepared Patient Forum, What It Takes, blog on May 17th.

Inside Health Care: Good Care Involves Good Communication

CFAH Staff | May 5, 2011

Many consider medicine just as much of an art as a science. How you communicate with your clinician and how your clinician communicates with you can affect your care.

Patient Navigators: Are They Necessary or Just Nice?

Jessie Gruman | May 4, 2011

Each of the four times I have received a cancer-related diagnosis, I felt like I had been drop-kicked into a foreign country: I didn't know the language, I didn't understand the culture, I didn't have a map and I desperately wanted to find my way home.Over the years I have listened to hundreds of people describe the same experience following the diagnosis of a serious illness. As the number of physicians, diagnostic test sites and treatment options have grown and the lack of seamless, coordinated care persists, the majority of patients and their loved ones struggle to find the right care and make good use of it.

The Conversation Continues: Vitamins & Supplements

CFAH Staff | May 2, 2011

Following our most recent Prepared Patient feature article, Dr. Steve Novella of the Science Based Medicine blog and Dr. Oz on The Dr. Oz Show explore a similar issue.