health care and cost management

When the Answers Are Just Out of Reach

child trying to climb higher

The caller, named Barbara, was in tears, and at first it was difficult to understand what she needed – what she hoped I could help with. “I have no voice! They don’t hear me!” Barbara repeated that phrase several times – meaning – I could clearly hear her, so her statement made no sense to me. At least, it made no sense until I asked her what she was trying to voice – what could …

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It’s Time. And It’s Imperative.

For most of us, it’s been about 14 months since life came to a halt and we began our pandemic distancing and avoiding. For those who actually distanced and avoided appropriately, I say – well done! You did what you could to avoid not only getting sick with COVID yourself, but you helped keep others safe and healthy, too. Unfortunately, in the ying and yang of life, there is also a not-so-good side to that …

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Don’t Let Medical Professionals Make You Feel Guilty

scolding doctor

A recent post on social media caught my eye…. My husband was very clear. He didn’t want his life prolonged. But they guilted me into it! So I told them to go ahead and put him on a ventilator… I wish I hadn’t done that. I will always feel guilty. And, a comment from an email a few months ago…. They told me the only thing they could do was amputate my mother’s foot because …

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Gaslighting: When Your Doctor Tells You It’s All in Your Head

man with a headache

Jessie has trouble describing the pain in her stomach. It comes and goes. Sometimes it’s a stabbing pain, and sometimes its just dull. Sometimes it takes her breath away. She wants to know what causes the pain, and what can be done about it. She’s frightened; afraid it could be life threatening. She wants an accurate diagnosis. Jeremy suffers from headaches, sometimes 4 or 5 times a week. He has been unable to figure out …

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Consider a Different “Con” in Medical Decision Making

man with heart image

My neighbor Stan, age 57, was told last summer that he needed open heart surgery, in the midst of the COVID pandemic. He was scared out of his wits and could not make the decision to have the surgery. He lived by himself and had no one to help him out or provide support. As I was walking my dog one morning, I saw Stan in his driveway. Stan knows what sort of work I …

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How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Independent Advocate?

Did someone say HIRE? Yes – hire. Patients and caregivers who seek the help of a care manager, or patient advocate are surprised to learn that there are two kinds of advocates: The kind you find in a hospital who works for the hospital. The kind who run private practices, who are hired like you would hire an attorney, and who provide services you’ll usually pay for from your pocket, not covered by insurance. You …

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It’s Open Season – er, um – Open Enrollment Time (How to Choose the Right Health Plan for You)

It’s ironic, don’t you think? Fall is both Open Enrollment for choosing your healthcare insurance plan, and Open Season for hunters, too. They’re both about stalking prey. Right? So now that I’ve put that vision in your head, it’s time to get a bit more practical. No matter that we would rather have a tooth pulled or pay our taxes, it’s the annual Fall Rite of Passage that we must take time to consider, or …

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Getting Revenge in the Face of Malpractice

woman with boxing gloves

Sometimes when patients or caregivers do a search in the AdvoConnection Directory for an advocate to help them, they are unable to find someone. There are a number of reasons for that, such as believing an advocate needs to be local (she may not) or not finding someone who the searcher thinks has the skill set to help… When searchers can’t find someone, they are invited to post a request for their “unmet needs”. We, …

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Aging and Alone? Who Will Hold Your Hand Through Healthcare Challenges?

There are terms used to describe those who are aging and alone. “Elder Orphans” is one. “Solo Seniors” is another. Both describe the concept of someone who is older and has no family or younger friends to help out in time of medical crisis (or, for that matter, any other life-assisting event like moving, or shifting financial needs.) If these terms describe you, then you may be asking yourself questions like:

This COVID – Coronavirus Side Effect Could Destroy Your Financial Security

piggy bank with mask

Of course, we usually think of side effects as issues that affect our health, like the result of taking a certain drug (just listen to those TV commercials and their disclaimers!) or the result of lifting a heavy box which causes us to strain our backs…. Today’s topic is focused on another side effect from COVID-19 (coronavirus) treatment, but not one that affects our bodies… Instead, this one can have a horribly negative impact on …

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