Patients and experts explore what it takes to find good health care and make the most of it.

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Understanding Risk: It's All Relative

Conversation Continues | September 28, 2012

Risk reduction, relative change, probability, and absolute versus relative risk'?¦how are these terms different from each other and how do they influence people's health care decisions?

What Patients Really Need to Know about Hospitals

Trudy Lieberman | September 27, 2012

If you want to know if restaurant food is safe, there's help. Just look at the signs in the window'?¦There are similar government inspection reports for hospitals, but you won't see them on the front door or any place else in the hospital, for that matter.

Comparative Effectiveness Research: Gail Hunt of the National Alliance for Caregiving

Gail Hunt | September 26, 2012

Gail Hunt is president and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving and serves on the Board of Commissioners for the Center for Aging Service Technology, the Governing Board of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and the CFAH Board of Trustees. This is the third in a series of interviews between CFAH President and Founder Jessie Gruman and patient and consumer group leaders about their experiences with and attitudes toward comparative effectiveness research.

Guest Blog: Health Insurance Decisions Still Tough for Many

Jane Sarasohn Kahn | September 25, 2012

Americans find health insurance decisions the second most difficult major life decision, only behind saving for retirement and slightly more difficult than purchasing a car. Why are health insurance choices so tough?

Getting Engaged

Elaine Waples | September 24, 2012

We hear inspiring things about patient engagement. The very concept has a hearty, spirited, do-right sound to it. After two years of cancer treatment, there are a few fundamental principles I think patient engagement should mirror.

Latest Health Behavior Research News

Health Behavior News Service | September 21, 2012

In this week's health stories: risk perception of heart disease and diabetes, topical NSAIDs for pain relief, rooming-in helps breastfeeding, and black cohosh for hot flashes.

Comparative Effectiveness Research: Judy Norsigian of Our Bodies Ourselves

Judy Norsigian | September 19, 2012

Judy Norsigian is one of the founders of Our Bodies Ourselves (OBOS), a nonprofit public interest organization practicing women's health education, advocacy and consulting, and has served as its executive director since 2001. This is the second in a series of interviews with patient and consumer group leaders about their experiences with and attitudes toward comparative effectiveness research.

Trolling for Insurance Prospects on Twitter

Trudy Lieberman | September 18, 2012

Selling health insurance on Twitter? Yes indeed. Not long ago a simple tweet about a blog called Medicare Made Clear alerted me to this new way to find sales prospects for Medicare Advantage Plans and Medigap policies

Health News You Can Use?

Inside Health Care | September 18, 2012

The dynamic nature of health news makes it challenging for clinicians and patients to stay abreast of new developments, interpret data and follow shifting guidelines.

Guest Blog: Stilettos and Chemotherapy: An Oncologist Reflects on Patient Autonomy

Don S. Dizon | September 17, 2012

I was offering a drug that could help stop the cancer in its tracks; it could prolong her life. And yet, instead of taking my advice, she had rejected it. Why?

Guest Blog: 'I Care about You' and Other Things to Say to Sick Friends

Carolyn Thomas | September 14, 2012

In honour of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week, I think I'll talk about what to say when somebody you care about is ill - rather than the well-meaning (but often annoying) greeting: 'You look great!'

A Year of Living Sickishly: A Patient Reflects

Jessie Gruman | September 13, 2012

The essays collected here reflect on what it felt like as a patient with a serious illness, to cobble together a plan with my clinicians that works and to slog through the treatments in the hope that my cancer will be contained or cured and that I will be able to resume the interesting life I love.

Are Patient Ratings a Good Guide to a Good Hospital?

Trudy Lieberman | September 11, 2012

After writing about trying to choose the best hospital for my upcoming cataract surgery, I wondered if a few quality measures might offer a clue or two about how to better honcho some of my care, like the one that asks hospital patients if a nurse explained medications given to them. Since many ratings schemes rely on patient satisfaction data collected by the government, I decided to explore further.