Patients and experts explore what it takes to find good health care and make the most of it.

Prepared patient blog

We Don't Ration Health Care in America. Or Do We?

Trudy Lieberman | October 29, 2014

As narrower insurance networks begin to limit where we can get our care and contradict the American notion of abundant choices, I thought about the Canadian health care system and rumors of its long waiting lists that grab U.S. headlines. Yet, narrow insurance networks, sky-high deductibles, co-insurance and co-pays are ways of controlling our medical expenditures. Instead of rationing with waiting lists, America rations with price...

Prepared Patient Blog

Is Your Doctor Talking to Your Other Doctors?

Carolyn Thomas | October 28, 2014
We'd all like to believe that the average physician would have some clue about a medical crisis happening within a family she's been caring for during the past three decades. But it ain't necessarily so. If you've ever been discharged from a hospital by one doctor only to later be readmitted to the hospital under a different doctor's care, you may be surprised to learn that those doctors are not likely talking to each other...

Prepared Patient Blog

What to Do If the Doctor Just Shrugs

Bonnie Friedman | October 27, 2014
As patients we want an answer and a treatment – if not a cure – for what ails us. But sometimes the doctor doesn't know what's wrong, which isn't as rare as we might think. All too often, patients or their families must take charge of their own medical management. Doctors, after all, are human, and some are better diagnosticians than others. Here are some things to do if you or a loved one is struggling with an undiagnosed condition...

Prepared Patient Blog

Medical Errors: Will We Act Up, Fight Back?

Center for Advancing Health | October 22, 2014
A new report, "The Politics of Patient Harm: Medical Error and the Safest Congressional Districts," is an alarming reminder that the 200,000 or more preventable medical errors in U.S. hospitals remain stubbornly high and dangerously under-addressed. In early 2013, CFAH's founder and president, the late Jessie Gruman, challenged readers about the crisis: "It is needlessly killing a lot of people and those who have the responsibility to stop it have not made meaningful progress... Are you outraged? If not, why?"...

Prepared Patient Blog

A Patient's Perspective on the High Cost of Cancer Drugs

Andrew Schorr | October 21, 2014
Many cancer therapies now cost over $100,000 a year. Obviously, this expenditure is not sustainable for the majority of patients. At age 64, I am approaching Medicare coverage. Will I have the 20 percent co-pay to shoulder? As more people survive cancer and remain on ongoing medicines, the U.S. has to have a fair and open discussion about the cost of these medicines...

Prepared Patient Blog

How Differently Patients and Doctors View Health Technology, With Dr. Eric Topol

Jane Sarasohn Kahn | October 20, 2014
Ninety-one percent of doctors are concerned about giving patients access to their detailed electronic health records, anticipating patients will feel anxious about the results. Only 34 percent of consumers are concerned about anxiety-due-to-EHR-exposure. Welcome to the digital health chasm, the gap between what consumers want out of digital health and what doctors believe patients can handle...

Prepared Patient Blog

A Testimonial to Jessie Gruman

Judith Miller Jones | October 15, 2014
The Center for Advancing Health's board of trustees and staff hosted a reception this past Thursday, October 9, in honor of Jessie Gruman, CFAH's founder and president until her death on July 14. Speakers included colleagues, family members and guests. Below is a reprint of the speech by Judith Miller Jones, MA, director of the National Health Policy Forum at George Washington University, who said of the reception: "What a broad assemblage it was, yet another testament to Jessie’s reach."

Prepared Patient Blog

Shopping for a Medicare Advantage Plan — Once Again!

Trudy Lieberman | October 15, 2014
I have just done something I said I would never do: shop for a Medicare Advantage plan to cover my gaps in Medicare. The usual flyers and brochures from sellers of Medicare Advantage plans began to arrive in the mail with their enticing sales pitches, and one nearly fooled me. Short of having a Medicare representative on the phone, you're stuck in an information swamp. No wonder studies show that beneficiaries are not eager to shop around even if they can get a new policy with a smaller monthly premium...

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