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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Uncoordinated Care

Andrew Robinson | September 30, 2011

I sit looking at the phone. I'm having a medical problem that needs attention, but I don't know who to call. Here's why...

Cost of Care's 2nd Annual Essay Contest

Inside Health Care | September 30, 2011

'The evidence says that there are ample opportunities to save money in our routine decision-making without compromising quality of care'We are not only asking for stories about unexpected medical bills or difficulty figuring out medical costs, but also asking for positive stories about ways doctors and patients have figured out to save money, while still delivering high value care'' - Neel Shah, MD.

Guest Blog: Price Tags and Haggling in an Exotic Market

Daniela Carusi | September 29, 2011

While shopping in a market on an exotic trip, a friend of mine picked up an appealing item, but the price seemed high. When she paused to consider the purchase, the shopkeeper asked, 'Don't you want to know if I can do better?' But with health care, we can't predict what the final negotiated payment will be without knowing who is paying and what kind of bargaining position that person is in.

The Formidable Complexity of Making (Some) Health Decisions: Book Review

Jessie Gruman | September 28, 2011

Can we have 'evidence-based' care and 'shared decision making'? Are they in concert or in competition with one another? Drs. Pamela Hartzband and Jerome Groopman's new book, Your Medical Mind: How to Decide What is Right for You, argues that a crash is indeed imminent.

Cigna's New Ad Campaign Aims to Snag New Customers

Trudy Lieberman | September 27, 2011

Cigna launched a $25 million 'GO YOU' national branding campaign last week signaling that they are gearing up for tons of new customers as health reform rolls towards 2014. That new business will come from the millions of Americans now uninsured who will start getting government subsidies as an encouragement to buy health insurance coverage.

Patient Engagement: Expert Molly Mettler Talks about Challenges

Molly Mettler | September 26, 2011

This interview with Molly Mettler is the third in a series of brief chats between CFAH president and founder, Jessie Gruman and experts - our CFAH William Ziff Fellows - who have devoted their careers to understanding and encouraging people's engagement in their health and health care.

The Whole Package: Improving Medication Adherence

Conversation Continues | September 23, 2011

Over-the-counter and prescription drugs are sold with instructions either on the package itself or in accompanying materials. Alas, research has shown that many people find this medication information confusing and thus do not take their medications correctly ' or at all. Can interventions like drug fact panels, reminder packaging and "integrated" health systems help solve the problem?

1st Person: Acute Pain: Sudden Impact

First Person | September 22, 2011

Dr. Jan Adams has had more than her share of painful experiences. A retired general practitioner and mother of two who practiced 'womb-to-tomb' medicine, she conducted humanitarian work around the world, notably with medical clown Patch Adams (no relation).

Prepared Patient: Getting the Right Help for Acute Pain

Health Behavior News Service | September 22, 2011

Whether caused by injury, surgery or a toothache so bad it slams you awake in the middle of the night, acute pain is difficult. Receiving prompt and helpful treatment can make all the difference in the world. But lack of care or inadequate care means that the acute pain may develop into chronic agony.

Will Oz Connect Washington with the People in the Heartland on Health Care Quality?

Jessie Gruman | September 21, 2011

When I think back over the past 35 years and my treatment for now four different cancer-related diagnoses, I am amazed by how much has changed. The diagnostic and treatment technologies are light years more sophisticated and effective.

Connections Between Fiscal and Physical Health

Jane Sarasohn Kahn | September 20, 2011

The relationship between economic development and population health has been long documented the health of a nation's economy does impact the health of its individuals. In this case, the connection between one's financial health (foreclosure rates in particular) and one's physical/emotional health is looked at specifically.

Patient Engagement: Expert Connie Davis Talks about Challenges

Connie Davis | September 19, 2011

This interview with Connie Davis is the second in a series of brief chats between CFAH president and founder, Jessie Gruman and experts - our CFAH William Ziff Fellows - who have devoted their careers to understanding and encouraging people's engagement in their health and health care.

Putting HIT 'Meaningful Use' Standards to Work

Inside Health Care | September 16, 2011

Those involved in health care and HIT may have noticed the increased federal and private sector discourse around "consumers" and meaningful use. This week's Inside Health Care collects some recent posts that discuss various new tools, programs, and enhancements aimed at providers, patients, caregivers, and members of the public.

Health News: Proceed With Caution

Conversation Continues | September 15, 2011

Recent posts at Health News Review highlight how the over-simplification of medical journalism leads to misinformed, over-treated patients.

Our Experience Trumps Policy in Changing Our Health Care Beliefs

Jessie Gruman | September 14, 2011

Our discomfort with the array of private and public sector proposals to improve health care quality while holding down costs should not be surprising. Most of us hold long-standing, well-documented beliefs about health care that powerfully influence our responses to such plans. For example, many of us believe that if the doctor ordered it or wants to do it, we must need it.

Turning 65: A Medicare Snafu

Trudy Lieberman | September 13, 2011

I didn't expect to write a sequel to my seven-part series about signing up for Medicare. Just when I thought I was on the program, and all was fine, it wasn't. After I submitted two bills for routine exams, I learned Medicare would not cover them as my primary carrier. That threw me into a tizzy. All my years of reporting about the program taught me that once you retire Medicare is primary.

Patient Engagement: Expert Dale Shaller Talks about Challenges

Dale Shaller | September 12, 2011

This interview with Dale Shaller is the first in a series of brief chats between CFAH president and founder, Jessie Gruman and experts - our CFAH William Ziff Fellows - who have devoted their careers to understanding and encouraging people's engagement in their health and health care.

Using Health IT to Address Healthcare Disparities

Chris Gibbons | September 8, 2011

With almost a decade's worth of the National Healthcare Disparities Reports behind us, it is clear that addressing disparities defies simplistic solutions. As we all believe that the complexity of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and HIV/AIDS will not stop us from one day finding a cure, I firmly believe that this same tenacity of spirit is needed to successfully surmount the challenges of disparities.

We Interrupt This State Fair for a Little Prostate Cancer Screening

Gary Schwitzer | September 7, 2011

There are a few things a man should think about seriously before rolling up his sleeve for the supposedly "simple" blood test. 'But here, prostate cancer screening is hawked in the same setting as the modern-day carnies pitching their slice-'em-and-dice-'em devices and inventions you only see at the state fair - "only at this price today!"

Nine Out of 10 of Us Like Health-Related Numbers

Jessie Gruman | September 7, 2011

It is not just when we are seriously ill that numbers dominate our experience with health care. Advances in technology have made it possible to quantify and thus monitor a seemingly infinite number of physiological and psychological health-related states.

Guest Blog: Who's to Blame for Drug Shortages?

Scott Gavura | September 6, 2011

All the best efforts to practice science-based medicine are for naught when the optimal treatment is unavailable. And that's increasingly the case ' even for life-threatening illnesses. Shortages of prescription drugs, including cancer drugs, seem more frequent and more significant than at any time in the past.

Defining 'Quality Health Care'

Inside Health Care | September 6, 2011

How do you calibrate care so that it is neither too much nor too little? In this collection of recent posts, health care professionals search for that 'just right' level of care.