Patient Advocacy

Today, January 10, is the day *you* can help keep the ACA.

Today, January 10, is the day *you* can help keep the ACA.

Today is the day to contact senators to stop GOP effort to repeal the ACA, at least until an equal or better replacement will be implemented. A central number has been set up: 888-897-9753, for everyone. It automatically directs you to your specific senators’ offices and provides helpful talking points to use. I got...

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Please see my blog at First Stop Health:

I was pleased to be invited to submit a monthly blog for  First Stop Health, which is an affordable medical advice service that allows individuals to ask a doctor any questions they have 24 hours a day, including filling a prescription. January’s topic is “Doctors’ Reactions to Healthcare Advocates.”  

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Obesity: Stop Blaming the Victim, Please!

Obesity: Stop Blaming the Victim, Please!

          The obesity issue is rife with misinformation and oversimplification. Being overweight is not just about gluttony. Indeed, many overweight people eat far less than their thinner counterparts. First, note that discriminating against fat people seems to be the last remaining bastion of bigotry that is socially acceptable. Regardless of...

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Ouch! That Hurts!

Ouch! That Hurts!

  A patient is offered Vicodin (an opioid) at an E.R. for a sprained ankle and level 5 pain. Proponents of the war on drugs (which isn’t winnable) contend that this is inappropriate because of lack of efficacy and the risk of addition/tolerance. As one physician stated (without citing any studies): “Narcotics have no...

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Excessive Medical Treatment?

Excessive Medical Treatment?

Upon reading Tara Parker-Pope‘s article, “Too Much Medical Treatment,” I was moved to compare and contrast my experience at San Francisco Kaiser Medical Center for the same issue: a moderately-severe sprained ankle that occurred on a Sunday. I checked in to the Emergency Room and was  immediately placed in an examining room. A nurse-practitioner...

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The Prognosis: You Know the Diagnosis, Now What?

The Prognosis: You Know the Diagnosis, Now What?

The brave new world of cancer treatment – and prognostic information – was featured in the New York Times: “A Life-Death Predictor Adds to a Cancer’s Strain.” This is notable not only for the novel medical treatment but also for the revelation of practicing physicians’ ethics and the way in which new treatments are...

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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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Caveat emptor*

Caveat emptor*

There is a Catch-22 (well, one of several) for health care consumers trying to manage medical expenses. This is especially galling if you happen to be in a so-called “consumer-directed health plan,” also known as a high-deductible plan. What’s the catch? The idea of the consumer-directed plan is to make you aware of how...

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October 29 is World Stroke Day.

October 29 is World Stroke Day.

Once again, the CDC announces October 29 as World Stroke Day. The ABC’s of  stroke prevention: A – Aspirin, if you are at risk. B – Blood pressure control. C – Cholesterol management. You can act now to prevent a stroke. Please see your physician for a blood pressure check, review of any medications...

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Partners Against Pain, Brought to You, In Part, by Purdue Pharma.

Partners Against Pain, Brought to You, In Part, by Purdue Pharma.

Investigating the topic of chronic pain and its impact upon society, I happened across a website which at first glance seemed helpful: Partners Against Pain. Even better, a Pain Management Advocacy Toolkit was among the website’s resources. Clicking on the link, I was led to a new website entitled “In the Face of Pain:...

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