OK, But What’s the Question?

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In my previous life as a speaker and writer on patient empowerment issues, I received email, even postal mail (meaning, yes, someone paid for a stamp!) from patients who were being challenged in some way by the healthcare system. Sometimes I would hear from 8 or 10 people in a week, 25, 30 or more a month.

Their stories were often sickening and terrifying. At the least they were frustrating to read (even more so to live through, I’m sure) and ...

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What Happens When You Go Home from the Hospital?

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Maybe you had surgery, or some sort of exploratory procedure. You might have been battling an infection, or maybe you were just there while they ran an assortment of tests. There are many reasons you might have been hospitalized.

And now it’s time to go home from the hospital.

Now what?

The thing is – during your stay in the hospital, there were people around to take care of you. Your nurses stopped by a few times each day, and would even arrive ...

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

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There are many names now being used to describe those of the baby-boomer generation who are aging and alone. “Elder Orphans” or “Solo Seniors” are two of them; describing the concept of someone who is older and has no family or younger friends to help them in time of medical crisis (or any other life-assisting event like moving, or shifting financial needs.)

  • Who can help them make end-of-life decisions?
  • Who can make decisions for them if they get sick?
  • Who can help them ...
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Those Elusive Test Results

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I’m not sure how it happened, but over the years, my medical appointments and tests all seem to have ended up as summer scheduled dates. 

You know – all those annual or periodic things:  bloodwork, mammogram, bone density, dentist, optometrist…. I also check in with the dermatologist once a year (because I was that fair-skinned, freckled kid who, as a teenager, slathered on the baby oil at the pool – remember those days?)  And this year was, oh joy of joys ...

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All We Really Need to Know About Getting Good Healthcare, We Learned in Kindergarten

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With a nod to Robert Fulghum

As millions of youngsters head off to school, it reminds us that some of the lessons we learned in kindergarten can serve us well as we consider our healthcare throughout our lifetimes.

Here are some of those lessons:

1. Be respectful of your medical providers, and command their respect in return.

Early on, we learned to be polite and to stick up for ourselves. The same holds true for working with our healthcare providers.

It’s important ...

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Why Won’t My Doctors Talk to Each Other?

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Mrs. Adams had been visiting her son and his family. She was reading a book to her grandson, when she began to have trouble breathing and started breaking out in hives. She passed out, and her son dialed 9-1-1….

She’s back in her son’s home again now, looking back over the entire experience which was horribly traumatic, not just for her but for her son, her little grandson, and the entire family.

They thought she was going to die, and according to ...

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If You Don’t Tell Them, Who Will?

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Many readers know that the advocates whose profiles are found in the AdvoConnection Directory are members of The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates. They are professionals who serve clients everyday, solving problems with the healthcare system or the cost of accessing that system. Or, as those patients who reach out to us claim, they are angels.

What you may not know is that we publish blog posts and guidance for our advocates, too. Once a week or so, ...

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Yes, Sometimes the Doctor IS Wrong

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This topic is very personal. In fact, over the years I have been affected by PTSD (post traumatic stress) because of it. But because it’s so personal, I may be the best person to share this lesson with you.

My name is Trisha Torrey. 13 years ago this week, I found a lump on my torso, about the size of a golf ball. A surgeon removed it, it was sent off to the pathology lab for diagnosis, and two weeks later, ...

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Here – Let Us Help You Pay Us Way Too Much!

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Just when you think you’ve heard it all…. Now hospitals are “helping” their patients with finances, too.

If you don’t give that much thought, then it seems like a great idea. “We recognize you owe us more money than you can afford, Mr. Johnson. So we’re going to help you figure out how to pay for it!”

Yes, according to Stat, Financial counselors help patients navigate costly care, you, too, can sit with a hospital’s financial counselor to see ...

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“Do Not Quote Me”

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A few years ago I was at a picnic with a friend who is an orthopedist. The question was raised about whether advice given by doctors is always in the best interests of the patient.

“Do not quote me,” was how he began his reply. At least that alerted me that he would give an honest opinion.

What followed were a half dozen examples of times he had been forced to adjust his recommendations to patients because a number of hurdles stood ...

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