Healthcare Reform: In Your Best Interest

Situation Critical! My latest blog for First Stop Health.

Situation Critical! My latest blog for First Stop Health.

My March blog at First Stop Health‘s invitation, an affordable medical advice service allowing healthcare consumers 24/7 telephone access to a doctor (including prescription filling), focused on the importance of health literacy. There is a direct relationship between a high health literacy score and good health. The opposite is also true: low health literacy has a...

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Educational Podcasts for the Health Care Consumer

Educational Podcasts for the Health Care Consumer

Free podcasts are available to the general public, courtesy of my professional association, the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants (NAHAC).   For instance, Richard Heasley, director of San Francisco’s Conard House, presented a teleconference on May 16, 2012  entitled “Effective Teamwork with Psychiatric Patients.” Other topics include eldercare, patient safety, Medicare, and many others. You can...

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Poverty Is Hazardous to Your Health.

Poverty Is Hazardous to Your Health.

We knew it all along. But anecdotal information does not have the same weight as peer-reviewed scientific research articles. And if that research quantifies the data so that we can make an educated estimate as to how many people die from poverty, and lists specific factors which contribute to illness and death, then we...

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Pre-Existing Condition? Yes, You Now Can Obtain Insurance!

Thanks to health care reform, an individual with a pre-existing condition is no longer uninsurable. It doesn’t matter if you have diabetes, cardiovascular issues, an autoimmune disease, or a diagnosis of schizophrenia or mood disorder, your options are now much wider and affordable. The 2008 financial meltdown was directly responsible for many people losing...

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Many Employees of Nursing Homes Have Been Convicted of a Crime.

Many Employees of Nursing Homes Have Been Convicted of a Crime.

Nursing homes are difficult places of employment. Administrators count themselves lucky to be fully staffed, given the paltry wages and hard work. Are you, then, surprised to learn that the backgrounds of prospective workers are not painstakingly researched? The fact that former prisoners usually can’t get hired by most employers easily validates a study...

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The Disenchantment of the 21st Century Physician

Doctors used to be the guys riding white horses.  Now they have to settle for a dapple gray, or maybe just hoof it.  I’m addressing the notion of professional ideals and how today’s physicians grapple with severe career disenchantment, finding themselves forced into a pragmatic position which places patients lower on their list of...

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U.S. Life Expectancy Lags Behind Other Industrial Nations

We are #28 according to the United Nations.  The primary killer in the U.S. is heart disease.  However, lack of nationalized health care plays a significant role.

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Large Gaps in Health Between Racial Groups

The CDC reports for the first time on the wide disparities between racial groups.  The conclusions are no surprise.  The poor, less-educated and uninsured have shorter, sicker lives. It is at least heartening that two fairly recent pieces of legislation, the 1994 Vaccines for Children program, paying for impoverished children’s immunizations, and the 1975...

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Who Are the Uninsured?

This Issue Brief from Kaiser profiles the uninsured population, their impact on public health and government spending, and explains how the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will reduce the number of uninsureds.  Currently, the federal and state government spends 75% to finance uncompensated medical care.

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Insurers do indeed prioritize profits at the expense of human life.

Deadly Spin, by Wendell Potter, details the case of Nataline, a 17-year-old girl who died because the health insurance company CIGNA refused to authorize a life-saving procedure.  This New York Times article can’t make the status quo any clearer.  Insurance companies’ profits drive the treatment you receive, and your health is a lower priority than...

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