health care and cost management

Cancer and COVID-19: A Guide

camcer patient in radiation during covid-19

With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Claire Thevenot. Find Claire’s advocacy profile here: Clarity Patient Advocates “COVID cancer sucks,” my client said.  She discovered a cancerous lump in her breast a couple of weeks ago and has had to go through the many initial appointments amid the chaos, isolation, and uncertainty of COVID-19. As if a cancer diagnosis isn’t daunting enough, dealing with cancer in a pandemic setting is especially frightening and challenging. If …

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Taking Control in the Midst of a Pandemic

take control during a pandemic

With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Barbara O’Halloran. Find Barbara’s advocacy profile here: ABC for Your Health, LLC When life is turned inside out and upside down… COVID19 has impacted every aspect of our lives! It has wreaked havoc and created a great deal of uncertainty for everyone; from kids who are out of school, to parents working from home, to adult children unable to visit with their parents, to the elderly population who …

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Understanding Coronovirus / COVID-19 Testing

With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Angie Galatas. Find Angie’s advocacy profile here: Medical Advocacy Plus, LLC Antigen, antibody, viral, serology, these are intimidating words that show up in news articles, media, and insurance documents related to COVID-19. The pandemic has led us to become investigators of not only the virus, but the medical terminology associated with it. Many people are suffering from fear, uncertainty, and exhaustion, trying to decode the information, and this …

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COVID-19: How to Avoid Unexpected Telemedicine Bills

telemedicine covid 19

With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Rob Berman.  Find Rob’s advocacy profile here: Systemedic, Inc Medical Bill Advocate As COVID-19 (coronavirus) alarmingly spreads throughout the nation, telemedicine is becoming an increasingly common way for doctors to communicate with patients. While the last thing you should be worrying about during this crisis is paying medical bills, high medical expenses may be a real concern if you need to see a medical professional. If you have symptoms of …

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Understanding Some Health Insurance Basics

With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Gabrielle Hochberg. Find Gabrielle’s advocacy profile here: Health Advocate Experts One area you may not know as much about is health insurance.  And what I want you to understand is that you have rights and choices. Did you know that each State has the authority to regulate Insurance Companies through the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945? Federal laws prohibit Insurers from engaging in coercion or intimidation, and they offer …

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Prepare for the Hospital – A Checklist for Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic

woman hospitalized for COVID

With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Kim McIlnay.  Find Kim’s advocacy profile here: Together Patient Advocates, LLC Under the best of circumstances, a hospital stay is stressful and uncomfortable. New challenges with the current COVID pandemic make this a time fraught with even more worry, uncertainty and isolation. But there are still many things you can do to prepare. I’m hopeful that these brief tips can help you prepare now for an improved hospitalization …

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Save BIG Money on Prescription Drugs by Purchasing from Foreign Pharmacies

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 …

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

(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 …

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Danger Lurks at Big Box and Chain Pharmacies

nails

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 …

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

Infusion pump feeding IV drip into patients arm focus on needle

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, …

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