Save BIG Money on Prescription Drugs by Purchasing from Foreign Pharmacies

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The reality of the cost of prescription drugs in the United States is that prices continue to go up and up, insurance covers less and less, and our out-of-pocket cost requires bigger and bigger pockets.

There seems to be no end in sight. We can make all the noise we want, but prices still go up, and up, and up.

As many smart patients know, those very high prices in the United States are far higher than prices for the same drugs ...

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Tax Time! Can You Deduct the Cost of Your Patient Advocate?

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(Updated in 2020, regarding Tax Year 2019)

I’ve spent most of the weekend working on my income tax filing. Yeah. You know. The fun never ends.

Then the lightbulb moment arrived when I realized that you, the reader of this blog, might be interested to know whether there is a tax benefit to hiring an advocate.

So we’ll begin with my disclaimer:  I am not an IRS (or CRA) agent or specialist. I am not a tax accountant or even a regular accountant ...

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Danger Lurks at Big Box and Chain Pharmacies

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This article popped up in a dozen places over the past week or so. The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Axios, even QVC!

How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk

Reading it will curl your toenails and raise the hair on the back of your neck! You’ll wonder how you have survived your Walgreens or CVS drug prescriptions.

But while I applaud the honesty and real-life approach to the exposé, I am as ...

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When Your Provider Says, “It’s All in Your Head”

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In a recent conversation with Annette, a young woman who has MS (multiple sclerosis), she described to me the first time she went for a drug infusion which had been prescribed by her neurologist.

She arrived for the session using her walker, barely able to keep her balance. Exhausted, she was finally able to get comfortable in the infusion chair. As the nurse began setting up the needle and catheter injection system into her vein, she looked at Annette and asked ...

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Busting the Cure Balloon and Finding a Workable Solution

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“The cure cannot come soon enough.” 

As someone who works in healthcare, and who speaks to patients and their loved ones every day, this is a statement I hear frequently. Whether we’re talking about someone’s cancer diagnosis, or Alzheimer’s Disease, or ALS, or MS, or diabetes…  it seems to be everyone’s hope – that a cure is on the horizon.

When my father was alive, and in his 24th year after his prostate cancer diagnosis, he lamented the fact that he had ...

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Spare Yourself Grief: Get It In Writing

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As the director of AdvoConnection and its associated websites, I hear about so many patient and caregiver complaints, problems, hurdles and – dare I say it – atrocities.

Among the most frustrating and egregious I hear way too often;  that is, with advance permission from their insurer, someone underwent a test, a procedure, or surgery, or saw a specialist, only to be told later that the insurer wouldn’t pay for it after all.

Wh-a-a-a-t?? 

If this has happened to you, you are probably ...

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“When I’m Sixty-Four” and If I’m Alone….

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Back in 2004, I was between husbands, and in my early 50s. As silly as that may sound (“between husbands”), the truth was, I spent 18 years with that status, between divorce and remarriage… and I was alone.

“Alone” is the key to today’s post.

Back in 2004, I was also diagnosed with a rare and terminal lymphoma. Yes – terminal – and yet here I am writing about it in 2019. You can read the story in ...

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A Riddle: When Is the “Best Doctor” Not the Best Doctor?

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… followed by a second riddle: When Is the “Best Hospital” Not the Best Hospital?

Everyone loves a good riddle. I think it’s because the answer is often clever, maybe a play on words. We chuckle (or groan!) at the answer, and sometimes the first riddle will trigger a handful more… just fun.

I wish I could tell you these two are clever, chuckle-inducing riddles, too. Unfortunately, not only aren’t they funny; they can be deadly.

There are two circumstances under which the ...

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So What Are You S’Posed to Do With Those Hospital Prices?

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In the category of “be careful what you wish for…” 

Well-meaning policy people have now created a monster.  We can name this monster “Good Start,” but it’s not a very useful monster – yet.

That monster rears its ugly head in the form of the new law that became effective January 1, 2019 that requires most hospitals to make their pricing available to the public. The idea – a good one – is that there is nothing else in this world that ...

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

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It strikes me as no coincidence that Fall is both Open Enrollment time for choosing a healthcare insurance plan, and Open Season for hunters.

In both cases, it’s 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 how we feel about having to go through the paces of choosing the right health insurance plan, no matter that we would far prefer to have a tooth pulled or ...

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