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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Guest Blog: Attitude

Elaine Waples | August 31, 2012

I'??ve come to believe that seriously sick people are often subject to some very interesting comments from well-intentioned non-sick people.

How Do We Know If the Price is Right (If We Can’t Find Out What the Price Is)?

Jessie Gruman | August 29, 2012

“Health care costs are sky-rocketing!” “The percentage of the U.S. GDP devoted to heath care costs is the highest in the world.” “The cost of Medicare is unsustainable.” For most of us, the cost of health care (i.e., the dollars required by the system to produce and deliver care) isn’t what brings us the most anxiety.

Can You Really Choose the Best Hospital?

Trudy Lieberman | August 28, 2012

After learning recently that I may need cataract surgery, it was time for me to check out the hospitals where that procedure might take place.

Guest Blog: What We Want from the Patient Experience

Barbara Bronson Gray | August 27, 2012

We're a disgruntled bunch these days. We think there must be a better way to experience health care.

Online Health Information Finally Clicks

Jessie Gruman | August 22, 2012

Kristen Gerencher of The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, recently interviewed me about internet users and online health information.

My Mother's End-of-Life Discussion That Changed How She Died

Leana Wen | August 21, 2012

I am a physician. The hardest thing I've ever had to do was to end my mother's life. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 47. After a seven-year battle that involved multiple surgeries and countless rounds of chemotherapy, she decided that she had fought long enough.

New Thinking and New Rules for Patient-Centeredness

Michael Millenson | August 21, 2012

Fundamentally rethinking and refocusing on patient-centeredness is central to building a health care system that improves quality and controls cost. But patient-centeredness must permeate an organization from the 'exam room to the board room'.

Comparative Effectiveness Research: John Burke on CER and Cystic Fibrosis

John Burke | August 15, 2012

John Burke is a respected patient advocate who has participated in more than 30 clinical trials and has been employed as a health care policy expert for over 20 years. This is the first in a series of interviews with patients and patient group advocates about their experiences with and attitudes toward comparative effectiveness research.

Nordstrom and Amazon, Where Are You in Health Care Service?

Jane Sarasohn Kahn | August 14, 2012

When it comes to customer service, retail stores, banks, airlines and hotels are tops. Health care? Not so good.

Seniors Will Be Paying More for Their Health Care

Trudy Lieberman | August 13, 2012

I was reminded of a conversation I had a few years back with Marilyn Moon '?¦.. The best advice she gave for people not yet on Medicare was to '??Save, Save, Save'?? because even with Medicare, seniors would be paying more for their coverage and for their health care. Moon was right.

Hey Doc, Choose Your Words Carefully

Conversation Continues | August 9, 2012

The words used by health professionals to describe our illness, treatment, prognosis, etc., carry weight. Which ones they choose can affect our understanding of our care and our ability to participate in it.

The Lemon of Illness and the Demand for Lemonade – “The Open Mind” Interview

Jessie Gruman | August 8, 2012

Richard Heffner, host of The Open Mind on PBS, interviewed me recently about what it’s like to be a patient in the midst of changes in health care delivery, advances in information technology and the implementation of new health policies.

How Retirement Income Relates To Health Care

Trudy Lieberman | August 7, 2012

If you don't have enough money for retirement, from income and assets, you probably are going to have trouble paying for medical care.

Guest Blog: Hospice and Palliative Care: A Basic Primer

James Cooper, MD | August 6, 2012

I've talked to hundreds of people about the health care options and decisions they face at the end of life. It's a challenging time and understandably many have little knowledge, while others have misconceptions, and some have bitter disagreements.

Prepared Patient: Do You Need a Yearly Checkup? (Updated Version)

Health Behavior News Service | August 3, 2012

We've all heard about well-baby visits, but if you're a healthy adult, you probably have no plan to see a doctor. When there's nothing to complain about, many of us go years without a comprehensive medical check-up, maybe to save money or time off from work or because we don't want to be lectured about our diet or exercise habits. But should we give up the time-honored tradition of the yearly physical?

Home Alone? Discharge Planning Starts at Hospital Admission

Jessie Gruman | August 1, 2012

“...If you need a wheel chair to take you to the door, I’ll call for one. If not, you can go home. Take care of yourself. You are going to do great!” Now I am a sucker for encouraging words, but right then, I panicked...It was 8:45 in the morning. My husband hadn’t yet arrived. I was free to walk out the [hospital] door.