The Tao of Empowered Caregiving

Last week on my radio show, I had Helena Doyle on.  She along with her sister are the caregivers for her parents.  Both her parents have complex medical problems and live at home.  I loved speaking with her because she learned how to navigate the healthcare system through trial and error. During our conversation, two…

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A Primary Care Vision

Healthcare is changing again.  There is a movement away from fee for service to global payments for care.  This means that the insurance companies give a provider or practice, a set fee annually to cover an individual.  It is the responsibility of the provider to manage medically and keep costs down.  If a practice goes…

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Being Safe In the Hospital

Last week on my radio show, I had Karen Curtiss as my guest.  She is the founder of CampaignZero, a not- for-profit committed to helping families keep loved one’s safe in the hospital.  She has also written a book called,  Safe and Sound in the Hospital: Must have Checklists and Tools for Your Loved One’s…

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My Doctor and The Insurance Company Are Now A Team

The other day I got an email from my primary care  provider stating, Harvard Pilgrim , my insurance company,  stating I was to change a medication I gad been taking for fours years to another one in the same class.  I assume the reason was the different drug was now generic. On the surface, this…

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An Advocate Learns A Lesson Traveling With Mom

Being a patient advocate, I should have been smarter about traveling with my 88 year old mother from Boston to Santa Fe, NM.  My mother lives independently, is quite active and cognitively competent.  She has her senior moments but that is more about where she left her keys. (Yes! she is still driving to my…

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HIPAA Drama: How Access Can Be Hindered

One of my tasks with all new clients is to get a HIPAA  and personal representative form filled out.  These forms when signed by the client, authorize me to speak with  medical teams, hospitals, administrators, billing offices and insurance companies.  It is the key to my work as an advocate.  There should be no problem…

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How to Get An Attending To Listen and Do What YOU Want.

I have spent many hours in hospital ERs, medical floors and waiting for surgery results with clients and their families.    I have experienced the different cultures of hospitals, their staff and how patients and families are treated.  But the one thing I don’t think I will ever get used to is how territorial and…

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When Doctors Don’t Listen

Listening to patients is an art medical professionals have lost.  I make this statement because, last night two of my clients received diagnosis of rare, progressive and possibly life threatening diseases.  Both of these clients had struggled with many medical professionals who wouldn’t believe their symptoms and investigate further.  In fact, both were told to…

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My Heart Breaks: Too Many With Cancer

I turned on my computer and there was an email from an a past client.  As I read the email, my heart began to break.  She had breast cancer that had metastasized to the bone.  She was wondering if I could help her.  She didn’t have very good insurance as I remembered.  She had been…

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