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

Prepared patient blog

Are We Cowboys or Managers of Our Chronic Conditions?

Jessie Gruman | April 23, 2014

The word "management" raises images of organizational charts and neat project timelines. This bears no relationship to my experience of trying to live a full, rich life with serious chronic disease. My image of having a serious chronic disease is of a cowboy riding a rodeo bull. You call that management? No. But it gives you a pretty good idea of what it feels like to have a serious chronic disease. This is our experience...

Prepared Patient Blog

Insurers Reap Rewards of Medicare Advantage Plans

Trudy Lieberman | April 22, 2014
A couple weeks ago, the Obama administration handed sellers of Medicare Advantage plans an increase in government payments for next year. While this may seem like a good thing for the 16 million beneficiaries who have MA plans, it may not be good for Medicare as a whole.

Prepared Patient Blog

Doctors as Coaches, Giving Up the High Horse

Milly Dawson | April 21, 2014
A recent conference at Harvard Medical School brought together scores of physicians who want to live healthfully themselves and to work as partners with their patients to help them do the same. I've attended many medical meetings but never one as much fun or as health promoting for participants as this one...

Prepared Patient Blog

Self-Monitoring Health IT Falls Short of Providing the Information We Need

Jessie Gruman | April 16, 2014
Yes, there are some data-fan, quantified-patient types out there. But most of us are not enamored of monitoring bits and bytes of our biophysical functioning. So perhaps we can turn our attention toward patients' more immediate concerns of having the right information at the right time in order to care for ourselves and those we love...

Prepared Patient Blog

My Partner, My Memory

Barbara Kivowitz | April 15, 2014
I don't know if it's growing older, or New England winters, or the meds I take, or watching Homeland and Downton Abbey in the same week – but my memory isn't as crisp as it used to be. My partner, Richard, has become part of my cerebral cortex...

Prepared Patient Blog

Co-Insurance for Medications: A Troubling Trend for Consumers

Ali Khoshnevis | April 14, 2014
As the health care system changes in the coming years, one particular trend that will negatively impact consumers' out-of-pocket costs is the use of co-insurance (instead of a co-pay) for expensive specialty medications. Approximately 57 million Americans rely on these drugs to maintain their health, and it is disheartening to learn that many people are suffering because their medications have become too expensive...

Prepared Patient Blog

On Each Other's Team: What We Can Learn by Listening to Older Adults

Chris Langston | April 10, 2014
If there is a population in which we have the biggest opportunity to see improvements in both cost and quality of care outcomes, it is older Americans. The debate on how best to deliver effective primary care has gone on a long time, sometimes frustratingly so, but it has almost never included a crucial constituency: older adults. The John A. Hartford Foundation is pleased to help change that...

Prepared Patient Blog

How to Make the Most of Your Doctor Visit

Jessie Gruman | April 9, 2014
Over the years, we've listened to hundreds of people discuss their experiences with their health and health care. One thing that seems to come up for many people is how hard it can be to find good care and make the most of it, which includes knowing what to do at a doctor's appointment. The following tips can help...

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