BE A PREPARED PATIENT®

Be a Prepared Patient can help you make informed decisions about your health and health care. We've gathered a collection of trusted resources, tips and stories from patients, caregivers, and health care experts about finding good care and making the most of it. Be a Prepared Patient accepts no corporate sponsorship, earns no revenue from any links and is completely free of advertising.

New App for iPhone

Our new, free app AfterShock: Facing a Serious Diagnosis provides a basic roadmap for the first days and weeks after getting a serious diagnosis. The app offers concise information and links to trusted resources to help you regain a bit of control during this turbulent time.

Getting the Most Out of a Doctor’s Appointment

Doctor’s appointments are often brief. Here’s how to quickly explain what’s wrong so you can get the help you need.

Handling an Insurance Dispute

What to do if your health insurance denies you coverage for a procedure.

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Are Medical Checklists Bad for Your Health?

Checklists are routine in other professions to standardize management, and we know they can prevent hospital infections and surgical error. But can there be a downside to checklist medical care? Consider these two examples...

Coping With the High Costs of Prescriptions

As patients pay more for their prescription drugs, many people decide to cut their pills in half or opt out of taking the drugs altogether. But there are safer ways to cut costs than skimping on — or skipping — the medicines you need.

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Seven Things You Can Do to Help Reduce Prescription Errors

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?...

Handling Treatment Side Effects

Sometimes treatment can produce troubling side effects. Here’s how to recognize them and what to do if you have them.

Sharing Medical Information With Multiple Doctors: Your Medical Records

How to get a copy of your medical records for your personal files and for your doctors.

Understanding Medical Terms

Doctors can sometimes use unfamiliar and complicated terms to describe your illness and treatment. Here are some resources to help you understand.

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MY PREPARED PATIENT® STORY

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RESOURCES

Find Good Health Care

The quality of doctors and hospitals varies. Here is information to help you find the right care. More

Pay for Your Healthcare

Learn more about health insurance terms, selecting a plan, and Medicare and Medicaid. Plus, resources for help with paying for prescriptions. More

Talking with Your Doctors

Advice on how to explain your symptoms, talk to doctors and ask the right questions about tests and prescriptions. More

Organize Your Health Care

Tips for doctors' appointments, managing health records and dealing with illness and work. More

Make Good Treatment Decisions

Treatment may involve making important decisions. Here's advice on understanding your options, including watchful waiting and getting a second opinion. More

Participate in Your Treatment

How to manage medical treatments at home, including medications and dealing with side effects. More

Seek Knowledge About Your Health

Advice on understanding your risk for disease(s) and finding online health information you can trust. More

Get Preventative Health Care

Advice about physical check-ups, disease screening, dental exams, vaccinations and immunizations. More

Promote Your Health

Information on healthy lifestyles, improving health habits and help with common concerns, such as weight loss and exercise, pain and depression. More

Plan for Your End of Life Care

Information on caregiving, long-term and nursing care, palliative and hospice care and advance directives. More