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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What Patients Told CFAH About Patient Engagement

CFAH Staff | August 27, 2014

"There's a prevailing attitude on the side of clinicians that looking for and using [our own] information is not good behavior on our parts. I think that attitude is a big barrier; people don't want to be seen as troublemakers for asking too many questions, disagreeing with a clinician, or bringing information to the table." – Kelly Young – Patient Advocate, President of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation, and Founder of Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior blog

Consumer Choice Clashes With the Affordable Care Act

Trudy Lieberman | August 27, 2014

Recently the Department of Health and Human Services proposed that most of the federal health exchange policyholders be automatically re-enrolled next year in the same policy offered by the same company. That's right, no shopping around...

Tributes and Honors for Jessie Gruman

Center for Advancing Health | August 26, 2014

"Jessie represented the voice of 'the patient'...Our lives were enriched by her intellect, her humor and her friendship. Participatory medicine is different, and better, because of what Jessie accomplished while she lived, and by what she has left behind. We should all aspire to leave as meaningful a legacy." – Charlie Smith, MD, the Journal of Participatory Medicine

Why I Fired My Doctor and What You Should Look for in Yours

Donna Cryer | August 25, 2014

My new doctor and I clashed in every way. The short story is that I found another doctor who was a better fit for my "patient style." So what can you learn from my experience? First off, here are two questions you should ask yourself...

An Advantage for Medicare Patients or Just for Health Plans?

Trudy Lieberman | August 20, 2014

That the government overpays sellers of Medicare Advantage plans is well known in Beltway circles, even if much of the public remains unaware…

What Health Insurers Told CFAH About Patient Engagement

CFAH Staff | August 20, 2014

"Most health plans view engagement as important and want to support it. But they recognize that they are only one (relatively weak) factor in supporting patient/consumer engagement... Their customers want their insurance premiums going to medical care, not a bunch of mailings about things they already know they should do..." – Arthur Southam, MD – Executive Vice President of Health Plan Operations, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Oakland, CA

From Wonder Drug to Medical Reversal

John Schumann | August 19, 2014

One thing seems to be sure in medicine: if we just wait long enough for excellent science to guide us ahead, things we trust as ironclad rules often change. Case in point...

Amy Berman and Health Affairs Remember Jessie Gruman

Amy Berman | August 18, 2014

Jessie was a hero to patients, families, and health care providers for her selfless work to help people better understand their role and responsibilities in supporting their own health. Her legacy is indelible...

What Policy Makers Told CFAH About Patient Engagement

CFAH Staff | August 13, 2014

"Since patients don't live in a vacuum, we must also involve the community in which patients live, work, and play. Community resources must be readily available to meet the needs of the population they serve. Also, as we begin to have patients and families engaged in their care and talk to peers and extended family members, they begin to model engagement to others. We are looking for 'engaged communities.'" - Jean Moody-Williams - Group Director, CMS Quality Improvement Group, Baltimore, MD

Clever Hospitals Find Another Way to Snag New Patients

Trudy Lieberman | August 13, 2014

As I sat on a New York subway one sizzler of a day, an ad for an ice cream cone grabbed my attention. After a closer read, I realized the ad was not touting ice cream but the Center for Advanced Digestive Care, a part of New York Presbyterian, one of the city's most prestigious hospitals and well known for its TV ads designed to cultivate brand recognition. The ice cream cone was an effective attention-grabber. So was the message…

The Most Important Quality in a Physician

Val Jones | August 11, 2014

When you ask patients what quality is most important in a physician, they often answer "empathy." I think that's close, but not quite right. I know many "nice" and "supportive" doctors who have poor clinical judgment. When it comes to excellent care quality, one personality trait stands out to me – something that we don't spend much time thinking about...

Lessons From a Fallen Hero, Jessie Gruman

Douglas Kamerow | August 6, 2014

"Jessie kept a laser focus on discovering and describing the process that she and many other patients with serious illnesses go through, so as to create useful tools and guidelines for all patients. She did it with admirable grace, humor, wit and wisdom." – Doug Kamerow, immediate past CFAH Board Chair, senior scholar at the Robert Graham Center for policy studies in primary care, and associate editor for The BMJ

What Employers and Purchaser Representatives Told CFAH About Patient Engagement

CFAH Staff | August 6, 2014

"Employers have an opportunity to reduce barriers and support engagement because they sponsor health plans and can provide access to information, tools, technologies, incentives, and more. Employers have more ability to influence engagement than they often believe they have." – Michael Vittoria, Vice President, Corporate Benefits, MaineHealth, Portland, ME

Who's Looking at Your 'Digital Dust'

Jane Sarasohn Kahn | August 5, 2014

The privacy issues around data flowing out of credit card swipes, social network check-ins, digital health trackers' apps and smartphone GPS geo-location functions are thorny, especially for health – where HIPAA protections don't extend. Here are two real and documented stories from people whose "digital dust" was collected without their knowledge...

Seven Things You Can Do to Help Reduce Prescription Errors

Margaret Polaneczky | August 4, 2014

I just got off the phone with a very upset patient who discovered that her pharmacy has been giving her the wrong medication for the past five months. Despite all our fancy technology and advances in health care, medication errors can and will occur. So what can you do, as a patient, to be sure that your prescriptions are correct?...