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Patient-centered care – you may need a buddy!

A friend of mine was undergoing an outpatient surgery a few weeks ago. Once in a gown, and her IV started (not a power position for us as patients, by the way!) her surgeon stopped in before heading to the OR to scrub. Having already talked with the anesthesiologist, my friend also shared her concern …

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Does Insurance Cover That?

Inevitably when I’m asked what I do and respond that I’m a private patient advocate, one eyebrow raises, followed by “What’s that?” My “Private Patient Advocate” elevator speech goes something like this: “Private patient advocates are independent professionals that help patients and their families clarify options for managing their healthcare as well as the cost …

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Before you jump in…Re-thinking preventive health screening

An advertisement arrived in my mail recently from a local hospital system offering a special promotion on  “heart disease, stroke, and aneurysm prevention package testing.” The tests included were extensive, and the mailing screamed not to wait to schedule these “life-saving screenings.” And, by the way, these tests are normally valued at over $2100 but …

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Caveat Emptor! (Or…a new twist in paying for healthcare)

Monica* had driven herself to the emergency room at a local hospital late at night after experiencing severe abdominal pain. She was worried she might have appendicitis, and her insurance company nurse line had advised her to go to the emergency room. A CT scan, MRI, and blood work were ordered, and intravenous pain medication …

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“Feeling the love” vs. “Feeling the trust”

A year ago, my 27-year old son injured his knee playing soccer. After months of conservative treatment and continued pain, an MRI showed a fracture in the cartilage in his knee, an uncommon problem for a person his age.  We worked together to prepare for his appointment with a well-referred orthopedic surgeon, and my son …

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