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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Our Caregiver Reality Check

Amy Berman | November 1, 2012

Who cares for our ill, our aged, our vulnerable? Is it physicians, nurses, social workers, aides? Or is it perhaps another member of the health care team? The largest portion of health care is delivered by families.

Comparative Effectiveness Research: Mary Andrus of Easter Seals

Mary Andrus | October 31, 2012

Easter Seals sees CER as a real opportunity for good information about treatment choices. Wanting to always be person-centered, we hope CER can inform the choices of individuals and families made in consultation with their providers but that CER will not prescribe the treatment.

When Your Doctor Says, “I Have Bad News”

Jessie Gruman | October 30, 2012

In "When Your Doctor Says, 'I Have Bad News'" I offer advice on how to cope with a scary diagnosis - without getting caught up in the chaos of fear. Written by Jon Spayde for Experience L!fe magazine’s November issue.

From Doctor-Centered to Patient-Centered Care

Leana Wen | October 29, 2012

As a medical student, I held the medical world in great awe. All that changed the day my mother became a patient and I began to see firsthand not only how difficult it is to navigate the healthcare system, but also how scary and unwelcoming the hospital can be.

Latest Health Behavior Research News

Health Behavior News Service | October 26, 2012

This week in health behavior news: shingles vaccines in older Americans, quit smoking programs, prescription painkiller abuse in teens, generic drug use in minorities

Who's to Blame for Health Care Costs? Not Docs, Say Most U.S. Adults

Jane Sarasohn Kahn | October 25, 2012

When asked who's to blame for the rising cost of health care, consumers accuse insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry, virtually tied for first place. These results aren't surprising given that past surveys have found consumers perceptions of 'Big Health' = Big Health Insurance + Big Pharma, down in the trust roster along with Big Oil, Big Tobacco, and Big Food.

Comparative Effectiveness Research: Maureen Corry of Childbirth Connection

Maureen Corry | October 24, 2012

Despite availability, evidence doesn't always make its way into practice. If we could implement what we know now about safe and effective maternity care, we would see rapid improvements in the quality, outcomes, and value of care for women and babies.

Dealing With Cancer

Jessie Gruman | October 23, 2012

I was interviewed, along with several other cancer survivors, for the October issue of Washingtonian Magazine. "Dealing With Cancer" by Karina Giglio, offers advice on how to choose your doctors, what websites you can trust, how to help a friend with cancer and other resources to help you or a loved one get through treatment.

The Granny Plan

Elaine Waples | October 22, 2012

It'??s no surprise that Americans are tilting the scales in the wrong direction. We are straining our waistlines and health coverage beyond the limits. Unfortunately we live in a culture that promotes it.

A Bogus Mass Mailing about Medicare That Just Won't Die

Trudy Lieberman | October 18, 2012

Last week, the health care and political pollster Humphrey Taylor received a scary email about rising Medicare premiums from a friend. He was skeptical and wanted to know what I thought. It turns out I knew a great deal and had seen a similar version a few months ago.

Comparative Effectiveness Research: Bill Vaughan of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare

Bill Vaughan | October 17, 2012

When you look at what can be done to save Medicare with this growing aging population, what do you do? One of most important things to do is to quit paying for things that don't work or don't work very well.

More on the 'Difficult Patient' Label

Inside Health Care | October 16, 2012

Have you ever worried about being called a difficult patient? Here, journalists, patients, and doctors discuss the "dreaded 'D' label" and why it's important to speak up.

Patient Engagement: No App Can Take the Place of Good Old Conversation

Stephen Wilkins | October 15, 2012

Physicians, hospitals and other providers are being misled by industry pundits claiming that more health information technology (as in EMRs, PHRs, Smart Phone apps, and web portals) is the key to greater patient engagement. It'??s not.

Latest Health Behavior Research News

Health Behavior News Service | October 12, 2012

In this week's health stories: teen sexual health, graphic anti-smoking ads, bad health news for veterans, and no evidence to back up spinal manipulations.

How to Better Understand Your Real Risk

Barbara Bronson Gray | October 11, 2012

Every day we're bombarded with news stories about our growing risk for getting this or that. If you eat fish you have a 30% greater chance of getting something or other, and if you drink three cups of coffee a day...Pretty soon it's all background noise.

Comparative Effectiveness Research: Venus Gines of Dia de la Mujer Latina

Venus Ginés | October 10, 2012

As a patient advocate, it's always good to know what the best treatment options are for our patients. As we continue to see so much fraud in research, there is mistrust about validity of data and the research itself relative to particular at-risk communities.

Getting Lab Results, Just for Doctors or Patients too?

Inside Health Care | October 5, 2012

When it comes to getting your lab results, do you want to be the first to know or would you rather wait for your doctor to review them?

May I Please See the Prices on the Menu Before I Order?

Corey A. Siegel | October 4, 2012

I am embarrassed. I am a specialist taking care of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases...Until recently I thought I was doing a pretty good job at this. However, I've had an awakening that I've been ignoring an entire aspect of the patient's decision. The aspect of cost.

Comparative Effectiveness Research: John Santa of Consumer Reports

John Santa | October 3, 2012

When Consumer Reports (CR) first saw the rising national emphasis on Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) three years ago, we were pleased: CER is what CR does. However, when it comes to health, we realized how difficult it is to do CER: CR would need to rely on good research done by others.

Do Seniors Want So Many Medicare Choices?

Trudy Lieberman | October 2, 2012

Seniors need more Medicare choices, or do they? The answer depends, of course, on who'??s doing the asking.

Guest Blog: TV Anchorpeople and Illness: Lessons Learned

Andrew Schorr | October 1, 2012

I'??ve been thinking a lot about television anchors and personalities. As they get older they encounter health issues, like the rest of us, and they get publicized because we think we know them so well. Is this helpful for our own health or does it sometimes go too far?