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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Advice for People New to Health Insurance (Part 6): 10 Steps to Making a Doctor's Appointment

Be a Prepared Patient | December 31, 2013

In part six of our series, you'll find out what key pieces of information you need to know about your new doctor's office. Keep it handy with your personal health records or household files...

Advice for People New to Health Insurance (Part 5): Do You Need a Yearly Checkup?

Be a Prepared Patient | December 30, 2013

In part five of our series, we look at the yearly check-up and offer resources for people who are trying to decide which preventive care services are right for them...

Advice for People New to Health Insurance (Part 4): How Much Will Health Care Services Cost?

CFAH Staff | December 26, 2013

In part four of our series, we look at a few ways to estimate the cost of your care ahead of time so you can make the best choice for you and your loved ones. Our 'Be a Prepared Patient' resources offer trusted websites and tips to get started...

Advice for People New to Health Insurance (Part 3): Understanding Insurance Terms

CFAH Staff | December 25, 2013

In part three of our series, we look at insurance terms that are used most often to describe or explain how much you’ll pay and what your benefits are. Our 'Be a Prepared Patient' resources clarify these common phrases...

Advice for People New to Health Insurance (Part 2): Medicare and Medicaid Explained

CFAH Staff | December 24, 2013

In part two of our series, we look at the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. Our 'Be a Prepared Patient' resources can help you figure out if you qualify for either of these or other special health care programs...

Advice for People New to Health Insurance (Part 1): Getting Covered

CFAH Staff | December 23, 2013

In part one of our series, we look at the basics of picking a health insurance plan that's right for you, your family or a loved one. Our 'Be a Prepared Patient' resources can help you find the best coverage at the best price for your health needs...

"We Are All Patients." No, You're Not.

Carolyn Thomas | December 19, 2013

I read recently about a medical conference on breast reconstructive surgery following mastectomy, to which not one single Real Live Patient who had actually undergone breast reconstructive surgery following mastectomy was invited to participate...

The N=1 Problem of the Patient Representative

Jessie Gruman | December 18, 2013

What can we learn from an experiment conducted on a single person? How relevant are results to other patients or populations or diseases? While most of us encounter a cascade of events throughout each of our illnesses, in the end, what we bring to the table is our experience through the lens of our own unique attitudes, beliefs and histories...

Is Shopping for an Exchange Policy an Impossible Task?

Trudy Lieberman | December 18, 2013

Last week at a New York City meeting of the Association of Health Care Journalists, Elisabeth Benjamin, a vice president of the Community Service Society, tried to explain the New York health insurance exchange to a group of skeptical journalists who had more than a passing familiarity with the topic...

A Report on Doctor Report Cards

Carol Cronin | December 17, 2013

You've recently moved and need to find a new doctor. What's available online to help you learn about the quality of the doctors in your area?...

What I Expect From the Medicare Program

Jeff Goldsmith | December 16, 2013

After half a lifetime of following the Medicare program, on October 1, 2013, I became a Medicare beneficiary. I'm part of the leading edge of baby boomers joining the program, ten thousand a day. Here are some reflections upon joining...

Patient as 'Captain of the Team'? Block That Metaphor

Jessie Gruman | December 11, 2013

You may have noticed an uptick in messages from your health plan or clinician notifying you that "You are the captain of your health care team." My response to this message? Bad metaphor.

A Better Health System for Frail and Disabled Elders

Ken Covinsky | December 9, 2013

Let's stop telling the public that exercising and eating blueberries are guarantees for avoiding frailty and disability. Let's start talking about how to maintain our quality of life as we age and inevitably encounter health problems.

Wellness at Work

Health Behavior News Service | December 5, 2013

Is your company one of the many that are now offering "wellness programs"? Our latest Be a Prepared Patient article, Staying Well at Work, looks at a few of these programs in action and offers tips for maintaining a healthy work/life balance...

Seven Things I Wish I'd Known Earlier About Cancer Survivorship

Jessie Gruman | December 4, 2013

It is challenging, in the years following a cancer diagnosis, to assemble health care that protects us from the lingering effects of the disease and its treatment and that alerts us to a recurrence or new cancer. I hope these reflections will help those who've been diagnosed with cancer live as long and as well as they can...

Where, Oh Where Are Those Insurance Summaries for Consumers?

Trudy Lieberman | December 3, 2013

Buying health insurance through the state shopping exchanges was supposed to be a breeze — like buying an airline ticket from Travelocity. But it isn’t, and the reason why has nothing to do with the technical glitches of HealthCare.gov...

Color Us Stressed – How to Deal

Jane Sarasohn Kahn | December 2, 2013

Coast-to-coast, stress is the norm for most Americans: 55 percent of people feel stressed in everyday life, and far more women feel the stress than men do. It will take a village to help manage stress, including but not limited to our doctors.