COLUMNS / PODCASTSSPEAKINGBOOKSNEWSABOUTCONTACTBLOGHOME  
  Columns, Headlines, Podcasts and Features from Trisha Torrey, Every Patient's Advocate - Healthcare Speaker and Author Every Patient's Advocate on Google+
Trisha Torrey on LinkedIn  
Trisha Torrey on Twitter
 
 
    These features, columns and podcasts do not offer medical advice. They are patient empowerment and advocacy focused, enabling readers to improve their relationships with their providers, stay safe when accessing medical care, become good healthcare consumers, and to help them advocate for themselves and loved ones.

Find additional articles at About.com's Patient Empowerment site.
  KEY:
Print version of this column is available
=
Newspaper
Column
  Podcast version of this column is available
=
MP3 Podcast
Available
 
         
  Print version of this column is available 10 Patient Empowerment Tips to Post on Your Refrigerator Door
The refrigerator door - in our home, perhaps like yours, it's a center of information, souvenirs and kids' artwork... So it seems like a great place to hang reminders of the many ways we can be smart patients!  Plus, I've created a fun, but informative poster from the 10 tips, too - which you can download for free.
     
  Print version of this column is available The 2012 Elections and the Issue of Healthcare Reform
As the national political season continues to ramp up, and candidates continue to dog on the Affordable Care Act, there are bound to be dozens of emails making the rounds that tell us how dangerous it is. Here are some tips for figuring out whether their claims are accurate, or whether someone is trying to make a fool of you.
     
  Print version of this column is available Your Most Important Health Resolution for 2012
When considering health-related resolutions, you probably expect me to wax poetic on the virtue of losing weight or quitting smoking. But no, this resolution actually trumps them both.
     
  Print version of this column is available

The Ultimate Gift - Organ Donation
During this holiday season, when we focus on choosing the perfect gift for a loved one, it's a good reminder that at the end of our lives, whether through natural causes or a terrible accident, we can donate our tissues and organs to help someone else.  You may think you can't donate; if so, you are probably wrong! Learn more about the benefits of organ donation and how to make sure your loved ones know you are willing to contribute.
     
  Print version of this column is available

Check Out Those Charities Before You Donate
It's that time of year when every charitable organization asks us to donate money. And we do! But how often do you check to make sure that your money is going to an organization that will spend it the way you hope? It turns out that some of the most well-known charities may be making choices you don't agree with, including spending too much of their money on administrative costs, and too little on education or research or a cure.  Here's some advice for learning more about those charities before you send them your money.
     
  Print version of this column is available

Healthy Travel Tips
Travel takes you out of your normal environment and disturbs your routine. If you have health issues, like a chronic disease, an injury, or even a short-term illness, it’s smart to prepare ahead of time for those changes and accommodate for them where possible.  You’ll want to be sure your travel doesn’t upset your health, and your health doesn’t upset your travel.
     
  Print version of this column is available

A Dose of Reality - Your Doctor Appointment
In the “old” days, we could phone for a primary care doctor’s appointment in the morning, be seen right away, spend enough time with the doctor, leave with a treatment plan, and usually feel better within a day or two.  But no longer!  Knowing that so much has changed, how can you best prepare for a doctor appointment today?
     
  Print version of this column is available

Don't Let Medical Test Results Fall Through the Cracks
These days, every visit to the doctor - primary care or specialist - seems to result in an order for one test or another: a blood test, imaging test, urinalysis, PSA, mammogram or any other. The results are provided to your doctor - but does your doctor provide them to you?  If not, don't assume it's because there was no problem.  That can be dangerous.
     
  Print version of this column is available

Podcast version of this column is available
A Patient Advocate by Your Side
Whether you are stunned by a new diagnosis, or groggy from the drugs you've been given, you won't be able to ask all the right questions or process all the information you need in order to make the best decisions for yourself. Who will help you? A patient advocate. Here's what you need to know about finding someone to advocate for you.
     
 
Sign Up for twice per month newsletters of
Patient Empowerment Tips
 
     


Register to access
the Media Archives.
Access is free.
 

register for Every Patient Advocate's media archive
You'll receive an email
link immediately.

Lost the archives link? 

get a reminder link to Every Patient's Advocate media archives


Do you have a column request?

Contact Trisha.


 

Contact Trisha Torrey
You are welcome to contact
 Trisha by postal mail or email. 
We apologize, but we cannot
offer telephone support
to patients.

contact (at) EPAdvocate.com
or
Trisha Torrey
PO Box 53
Baldwinsville, NY  13027

Media Contact Information

 

You Bet Your Life!

Trisha's book:

You Bet Your Life!
The 10 Mistakes
Every Patient Makes

(How to Fix Them to Get the
Health Care You Deserve)



Trisha is the
About.com Patient Empowerment link
Guide to
Patient Empowerment

 
   
     
 

Doctor Patient Communications

  The Doctor - Patient Disconnect
Command respect from your doctor.
Free access to all archived articles and podcasts.
Register here.
 
  No Room for White Lies
Fibbing to your doctor can be dangerous
  Behold the Second Opinion
Second opinions are important, but there are some guidelines for getting the best information.
 
  Three questions you should ask your doctor
The AskMe3 group provides guidelines to patients.
 
  Follow Up on Test Results
Don't assume your doctor's office will provide test results when they come in. Be proactive!
 
  Be Informed Before You Give Consent
When you visit your doctor, you are asked to sign an "informed consent" form.  Read why you need to make sure you really have been informed, and you understand the information you are given.
 
  Who's Who in Health Care?  (part I)
There are so many initials after the names of healthcare providers.  Here are the designations given to doctors.
 
  Who's Who in Health Care?  (part II)
More o As You're Told!
Complying with your doctor's instructions is an important part of healing.
 
  Ask Health Care Workers to Wash Their Hands
You will be amazed at how effective this tip can be to prevent yourself from getting infected.
 
  Tell ALL Your Doctors What You Think!
Providing feedback to the doctor who treated you is important, but just as important is letting the person who referred you know about your experience, too.
Free access to all archived articles and podcasts.
Register here.
 
 

Five Words Make all the Difference
Once your doctor provides you with a diagnosis, what should you do next to make sure you'll get the best treatment?

  Think Like a Consumer to Stay Healthy!
Be sure your doctor's motives are focused on you and not on his or her skills or income.
 
  When You and Your Doctor Disagree
You've made your choices for treatment and follow up care, but your doctor disagrees and doesn't want to support your decision.  What does an empowered patient do?
 
  Glen's Decision, Revisited
The last in the series about Glen, who chose an alternative treatment for a brain tumor but had to take a second look at his choice.
 
  Tap Into the Knowledge of the Professionals in the Doctor's Office
Your doctor isn't the only person in her office who can help you. There is plenty of information you can get from others.  Here's a guide to who can help you while you are there.
 
  When It's Time to Change Doctors
Moving?  Doctor's practice closing?  Just have a feeling that you and your doctor need to part ways?  Here are some smart steps for leaving your doctor, and preparing to transition to the new one.
 
  When It's Time to Change Doctors - Part II
Part II - Meeting With Your New Doctor
Finding a new doctor gives you an opportunity to start fresh with your communication, collaboration and finding your best medical outcomes. 
 
  East, West and Wellness (Complementary and Alternative Medicine)
We patients in the Western world are beginning to learn about and embrace Eastern medicine, from herbal supplements to acupuncture and yoga.  But what about our doctors?  How can we make our choices and be honest with them, too?
Free access to all archived articles and podcasts.
Register here.
 
 
Got a Problem with Your Doctor? Speak Up!
We patients do a lot of complaining about our doctors, but what steps are we taking to fix the relationship?
 
 
Doctors Complain About Patients, Too
As you might imagine, doctors have as many complaints about patients as we patients have about them.  And informal survey of doctors and other health professionals yielded a long list of complaints.  See if you are 'guilty' of any of these indiscretions.
 
 
Your Primary Need for Primary Care
There are many reasons we need to make sure we have a primary care doctor ready and willing to help us.  Learn what those reasons might be, and why it's so important you find one if you don't have one all ready.
 
  Doctors React to Use of the Internet
Wise patients know to learn what they can about diagnoses and treatment options by using the Internet.  But the fact that we use the Internet isn't always well received by our providers.  Here is some advice to help you avoid stepping on provider toes.
 
 
Uncomfortable at the Doctor's? Time to Speak Up!
Gown too small?  Words too big?  Too much time spent waiting for your appointment?  What are you going to do about it?  And if you don't, who will?
 
 
The Internet and Your Doctor – Getting the Best from Both Worlds
Symptoms? Pain? Of course, we run to the Internet to do a little background research first.... But inevitably we need to have that conversation with our doctor. How can you balance the information they both supply without stepping on your doctor's toes or upsetting him or her? And how do you get the best information from each? Here's how.
 
 
What Your Doctor Doesn't Know Can Hurt You
It may surprise you to learn that specialists - doctors with advanced training in specific body systems or diseases, focus so much on those specialty areas that they lack knowledge and training in some of the basics.  That means that unless you see the right kind of doctor, you may not be properly diagnosed. Learn how to be sure you're seeing the doctor who can properly diagnose and treat you.
 
 
Can Patients Know Too Much?
A website that provides education for physicians produced a video to teach them how to deal with difficult patients called
The Patient Who Knows Too Much. Is that possible, that a patient can know TOO much?  You might be surprised at my opinion.
 
  Your Most Important Health Resolution for 2012
When considering health-related resolutions, you probably expect me to wax poetic on the virtue of losing weight or quitting smoking. But no, this resolution actually trumps them both.
 
 

TOP OF PAGE


Medical Records and Tests

 
  Build a Personal Health Journal (part 1)
Keeping track of your personal and family medical records can help you later when you run into health problems.
Free access to all archived articles and podcasts.
Register here.
 
  Records are yours for the taking (medical records - part II)
Learn how to get a hold of your medical records.
  Building a Personal Health Journal (medical records - part III)
Learn how to get a hold of your medical records when your doctor has closed his practice, plus a review of systems for keeping your materials together.
 
  Follow Up on Test Results
Don't assume your doctor's office will provide test results when they come in. Be proactive!
 
  Learn from the Headlines
It can be dangerous to make treatment changes based on what you hear or read in the media.  Here is a way to use that information to your benefit.
 
 
Defensive Medicine - It Gets Expensive
Do you know why your doctor orders so many tests to try to diagnose you?  You'll be surprised to learn that it's very likely he's ordering them for himself, and not for you.
 
 
Part II - Defensive Medicine - Doctor, Is This Test Necessary?
Defensive medicine -- undergoing more tests than we really need -- can be dangerous and expensive.  Learn how to work with your doctor to be sure each test is necessary.
 
 
What's the Big Deal About Electronic Medical Records?
One patient / one record - that's the biggest benefit to EMRs.  The days of scattered records, and the problems that result will be gone.  How?  and Why?
 
  Consider Your Advanced Directives
Making decisions about your end of life care, and making sure your loved ones understand what those wishes are is a wonderful gift which provides peace of mind.  From DNRs to living wills to healthcare proxies -- learn what they are and why they are important.
 
  Genetic Testing - Would You? Should You?
Consumers may soon be able to purchase genetic testing kits to figure out whether they have a genetic pre-disposition toward diseases like Alzheimer's or lung cancer.  But does it really make sense for us patients to test ourselves? What are some of the pros and cons?
 
 
  Don't Let Medical Test Results Fall Through the Cracks
These days, every visit to the doctor - primary care or specialist - seems to result in an order for one test or another: a blood test, imaging test, urinalysis, PSA, mammogram or any other. The results are provided to your doctor - but does your doctor provide them to you?  If not, don't assume it's because there was no problem.  That can be dangerous.
 
       
       
 

Prescription Drugs

 
  Ads for Prescription Drugs Are A Place to Start
Don't let those drug companies manipulate you
Free access to all archived articles and podcasts.
Register here.
 
  Prescription Mistakes are Over a Million
Millions of people have died or been injured by prescription drug errors.  Learn more about the errors.  This is Part I of two parts.
  Prevent Prescription Errors
Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by following this protocol when your doctor gives you a new prescription.  This is Part II of two parts.
 
  Generic Drugs:  What You Need to Know
What are they? Why are they different? Can you benefit from their use?
 
  Prescription Abbreviations:  Cracking the Code
The written prescription handed to you by your doctor may look confusing due to all the abbreviations and acronyms.  But it's important for you to understand what it says. 
 
 
Off Label Drugs - Be Aware to be Safe
For some, an off label prescription can be life saving.  For others, it can cost them their health and their lives.  Learn about off label drugs, and how you can be sure you are getting one that is safe for you. 
 
 
Report Problem Drugs and Malfunctioning Medical Devices
Just like your car can have mechanical problems, or your furnace can go on the fritz, so can pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices malfunction, too.  Sometimes they weren't manufactured correctly.  Other times they may be counterfeit.  Learn how you can help identify these problems and how to report them to the FDA.
 
 
Double Check New-to-the-Market Drugs
The FDA may approve a drug for our use, but that doesn't mean it's safe. Vioxx was approved for five years, killing or debilitating 27,000 Americans before it was pulled from the market. More drugs are found to be dangerous every year. So how can you tell if a new drug your doctor prescribes is safe
for you?  Here's how.
 
 
   

TOP OF PAGE

 
    No material found in this website is to be reproduced without expressed written consent of the author.   
 

Hospitals & Safety

 
  MRSA :: Every Hospital's Dirty Little Secret
If you or a loved one is faced with a hospital stay, take this cautionary tale to keep yourself safe from infection.
 
  Keep Yourself Safe from Hospital Acquired Infections
Learn more about the necessary steps, and the work by RID:  Reduce Hospital Deaths
Free access to all archived articles and podcasts.
Register here.
 
  Keep Yourself Safe in the Emergency Room
From keeping your sense of humor to choosing which hospital ER is best for you, here are some ideas for getting the best care.
  Use ICE on Your Cell Phone
No -- not the ICE that has anything to do with liquid refreshment!  This ICE may save a life.
 
  Patient Safety Day
Almost 100,000 Americans DIE each year from medical errors including bad surgeries, hospital acquired infections and pharmaceutical drug mistakes.  Patients need to stand up for safe healthcare.  Learn how.
 
  Prevent Your Own Hospital Infections
105 hospitals across the United States have proved it's possible to stop deadly central line infections - a feat that was previously thought to be impossible. It can be done!  But most of us don't have access to those hospitals, so we must prevent them ourselves.
 
 
Hospitals Are Employing Many New "Ists"
What's a Nocturnist?  Or a Proceduralist? Or an Intensivist?  Or a Hospitalist? These new hospital doctors are treating patients everyday. If you've been hospitalized, there's an excellent chance they treated you. Who are they?  And what do smart patients know about these new "ists"?
 
 
 
Need Surgery? Take Responsibility to Avoid a Hospital Infection
Whether you need your knee replaced, a fibroid removed, your face lifted, or your ACL repaired - or any other sort of surgery in the hospital - you can't rely on hospital personnel to keep you safe from a deadly infection. Here are some strategies for keeping yourself safe so you can recover infection-free. 
 
 
Patient Satisfaction - Coming to a Hospital near You
Think back to a time you or a loved one was hospitalized.... Would you consider yourself a satisfied customer? Few would - but that may be changing soon. Beginning in 2012, as part of the Affordable Care Act (healthcare reform), hospital reimbursements will be partially based on how well their customers - us patients - felt served. Learn more about how this works and why it may benefit us patients.
 
 
July - a Potentially Dangerous Time for Healthcare
July - the perfect storm of reasons why you may not be able to get the healthcare you deserve, especially in the hospital. From newbie doctors to vacationing regulars, studies show the numbers of drug errors in certain kinds of hospitals go up this time of year. My own misdiagnosis happened because it was July. I say - Beware!
 
 
Informed Consent Requires Clarity - Do You Have It?
We hear of bait-and-switch when it comes to retail discounts or the Sunday coupons, but did you know that Informed Consent documents set us patients up for bait-and-switch, too?  Here's what you need to know to be sure your test or procedure will work the way you expect it will.
 
 
An Open Letter to Hospitals
Hospital Report Cards give hospitals an objective assessment of  how well they are doing their jobs.  We patients can learn from these Report Cards, because they provide an indication of how safe we are and whether our needs will be met.  Learn more about what is measured and how you can learn more about your local hospitals.
 
 
Choosing a Safer Hospital
In my last column, I shared with you an open letter to hospitals based on their sorry report cards for providing safe care to patients.  So how can patients protect themselves from those hospitals with bad track records?  Here is an approach to making sure you choose the safest one for you.
 
  A Dose of Reality - Your Doctor Appointment
In the “old” days, we could phone for a primary care doctor’s appointment in the morning, be seen right away, spend enough time with the doctor, leave with a treatment plan, and usually feel better within a day or two.  But no longer!  Knowing that so much has changed, how can you best prepare for a doctor appointment today?
 
 

Compliance / Adherence

 
  No Room for White Lies
Fibbing to your doctor can be dangerous.
Free access to all archived articles and podcasts.
Register here.
 
  Do As You're Told!
Complying with your doctor's instructions is an important part of healing.
       
 

Misdiagnosis and Medical Errors

 
  What if you've only got a few months to live?
Trisha explains why she became "Every Patient's Advocate"
 
  The Problem with "Should"
A bow to National Patient Safety Week and how to prevent misdiagnosis.
 
  The Flip of a Coin Isn't Good Enough
The Rand Healthcare report = we all get shoddy health care.
 
  MRSA - Every Hospital's Dirty Little Secret
Learn how to protect yourself from this "superbug" infection that can kill.
 
  When is a Specialist the Wrong Specialist for You?
Specialists know their own body systems very well.  But many health problems get attributed to the wrong body system -- and those specialists don't know to look for it elsewhere.
Free access to all archived articles and podcasts.
Register here.
 
 
Can You Risk Not Getting a Second Opinion?
As you might imagine, doctors have as many complaints about patients as we patients have about them.  And informal survey of doctors and other health professionals yielded a long list of complaints.  See if you are 'guilty' of any of these indiscretions.  
 
 
Successful body Repair May Require a Different Specialist
If you have a leak under your kitchen sink, do you call an electrician? Of course not! Yet, sometimes we patients end up being referred to the wrong specialist to diagnose our medical problems. How can you be sure you're seeing the right specialist? 
 
 
When Your Symptoms Won't Go Away
You've done everything right - talked to your doctor, reviewed your drug prescription, even learned more about your diagnosis online - but - your treatment doesn't seem to be working. Frustrating! You just aren't getting better.  So what are you supposed to do now?  Here's one approach.
 
 
 
July - a Potentially Dangerous Time for Healthcare
July - the perfect storm of reasons why you may not be able to get the healthcare you deserve, especially in the hospital. From newbie doctors to vacationing regulars, studies show the numbers of drug errors in certain kinds of hospitals go up this time of year. My own misdiagnosis happened because it was July. I say - Beware!
 
   

TOP OF PAGE

 
 

Using the Internet for Health-Related Research

 
 

Ads for Prescription Drugs Are A Place to Start
Don't let those drug companies manipulate you

Free access to all archived articles and podcasts.
Register here.
 
 

Are you a Cyberchondriac?
Self-diagnosing by using the internet can interfere with good medical outcomes.

  Getting the Support You Need
Sometimes medical professionals can't answer all your questions.  When that happens, turn to other patients for support.
 
  Use the Internet Wisely to Find Reliable Health Information (part I)
Learn about Health on the Net (HON) and how it can help you.
 
  Use the Internet Wisely to Find Reliable Health Information (Part II)
Medical Journals can be an excellent source of health information.  Here are some things you need to know about them.
 
  Use the Internet Wisely to Find Reliable Health Information (Part III)
There is plenty of good information about doctors online. But there is also information that is incorrect or not objective. Learn how to find the information that is useful.
 
  Use Blogs and Wikis to Find Further Medical Information (Part IV)
Blogs and Wikis may offer you unique ideas and teach you things your doctor didn't (or won't!) tell you.  Learn what they are, and how to use them to your benefit.
 
  Online Medical Information Can't Always be Trusted (Part V)
Sometimes information isn't helpful at all.  In fact, it may be wrong and dangerous.  Assess the information using some of these tips to be sure it can be helpful to you.
 
  Glen's Decision, Revisited
The last in the series about Glen, who chose an alternative treatment for a brain tumor but had to take a second look at his choice.
 
 
Other Patients May Lend a Hand
When you need to learn more about your diagnosis and treatment options, an Internet search may turn up information provided by other patients.  How credible is it?  Can it be useful to you?
 
 
Avoiding Misinformation Online
The Internet is now the number one resource for 80 perent of us when we seek health information.  Unfortunately, it's also the location of way too much misinformation, disinformation - even snake oil.  How can you tell which information is useful to you, and which information is intended only to separate you from your hard-earned money?

 
 
Find Support from Other Patients
While your doctor may be your best resource for medical information and conversations, other patients with your same diagnosis can be immensely helpful when it comes to sharing real experiences with tests, treatments and other aspects of living with your diagnosis.
 
    No material found in this website is to be reproduced without expressed written consent of the author.   
 

Miscellaneous

 
  Listen to Your Inner Voice
Intuition? Instinct?  It's there to help!
Free access to all archived articles and podcasts.
Register here.
 
  Learn from the Headlines
It can be dangerous to make treatment changes based on what you hear or read in the media.  Here is a way to use that information to your benefit.
  Be Informed Before You Give Consent
When you visit your doctor, you are asked to sign an "informed consent" form.  Read why you need to make sure you really have been informed, and you understand the information you are given.
 
  Who's Who in Health Care?  (part I)
There are so many initials after the names of healthcare providers.  Here are the designations given to doctors.
 
  Who's Who in Health Care?  (part II)
More designation translations for the alphabet soup of health care providers.
 
  Ask Health Care Workers to Wash Their Hands
Hospital and exam room infection rates are alarming, and many infections would never be transmitted, if only doctors would wash their hands.
 
  Evolving Options
Integrative Medicine -- Alternative and Complementary Therapies -- much to learn and choices to make.
 
  Be a Smart Health Insurance Consumer
How can you tell which health insurance plan best meets your needs?  A hint:  it's probably not the one that has the lowest premiums!
 
  What Kindergarten Teaches Us About Our Healthcare
Just like Robert Fulghum's bestseller of 20 years ago, some of our best lessons in healthcare are the basics we learned in school.
 
  Those Amazing Medical Diagnostic Machines
You've heard their names:  X-Rays, MRIs, UltraSound and others.  What's are the differences among them and what can doctors learn from them?
 
  Resolutions for Sharp Patients
Prepare yourself for 2007 with these easy, but effective ideas for finding your best medical outcome.
Free access to all archived articles and podcasts.
Register here.
 
  Making Tough Treatment Decisions
Sometimes it's tough to make decisions when our emotions get in the way of our objectivity.  Use this approach to help you make the right decision for you.
  Take a Look at Clinical Trials
You can help yourself, and other patients who will someday be diagnosed with your same medical problem, by participating in clinical trials.
 
 

 

Prevention:  Stay Healthy and Save Money, Too
Better to proactively prevent medical problems by living healthy than to need to pay for the reactive side of medical care, both in time and money.
 
  The Concept of Medical Home
Patients are often frustrated by a lack of coordination of their healthcare.  The concept of "medical home" was developed to support that idea of coordination -- but that theory doesn't turn out to be too successful in actual practice.
 
  East, West and Wellness (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) Parts 1, 2 and 3
We patients in the Western world are beginning to learn about and embrace Eastern medicine, from herbal supplements to acupuncture and yoga.  But what about our doctors?  How can we make our choices and be honest with them, too? And how do we discuss the topic of alternative and complementary therapies with our doctors?
 
  Stomach Bugs, Prostatectomy and Managing Expectations
Sometimes our expectations about our health problems or recovery are less about reality and more about our assumptions.  We patients need to learn to manage our own expectations to make our best choices.
 
 
Learn to Ignore Those Celebrity Drug Endorsements
Sally Field did a fine job playing Gidget on TV and  Norma Rae in the movies, but why does anyone believe what she has to say about prescription osteoporosis drugs?
 
  Should We Be Afraid of Swine Flu?
Public health emergencies, pigs and pandemics.  As incidents of swine flu pop up across the globe, it instills a certain fear - are we, or someone we love, at risk for catching swine flu?  Should we be afraid of swine flu?
 
  Some Steps Forward, Too Many Steps Back - A Patient's Decade in Review
Between 2000 and 2009, patients found a mixed bag of both positive and negative progress. The possibilities for improved care may exist, but fewer and fewer of us are reaping the benefits.
Free access to all archived articles and podcasts.
Register here.
 
 
New Year's Resolutions for Smart Patients
Smart patients realize that not all resolutions have to be painful to be successful. Here are a handful that will improve your health, but don't require a gym membership or giving up your favorite foods.
 
 
A Year of Swine Flu - What Have We Learned?
Was H1N1 all we had feared?  Or did Chicken Little rush in to tell us the sky was falling?  Or did we really learn some good lessons from our year of swine flu and planning for a pandemic?
 
 
Medical Identity Theft - When Identity Theft Becomes Dangerous
Having your financial information stolen is costly and a major headache to clear up.  But having your medical identity stolen can be life threatening. Learn about medical identity theft and how you can prevent it from happening to you.
 
 
Get Smart!(phones) to Improve Your Health
A smartphone, like an iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Palm or others, can help you get healthier through the use of hundreds of health-related apps.  Learn what apps are, how they can be useful, and the ways you might improve your health by using them.
 
 
Prepping Our Children for Back to School - to Keep Our Families Healthy, Too
From whooping cough boosters, to coughing into elbows, back-to-school time reminds us that germs pass quickly, and the whole family can be a risk. Here are some steps to take to keep everyone healthier.
 
 
Trust Your Gut to Make Medical Decisions
That nagging voice inside your head can provide you with some important information. Learn why trusting your intuition can be helpful, and how to use it to make medical decisions.
 
 
Medical News Requires Getting Past the Headlines
Those headlines grab our attention.  "Berries ward off Parkinson's Disease" and "Musical exercise program cuts falls for the elderly"  But when you read the rest of the story, you realize how deceptive those headlines are.  Here's how to figure out what you can, and can't believe from those headlines.
 
  Healthy Travel Tips
Travel takes you out of your normal environment and disturbs your routine. If you have health issues, like a chronic disease, an injury, or even a short-term illness, it’s smart to prepare ahead of time for those changes and accommodate for them where possible.  You’ll want to be sure your travel doesn’t upset your health, and your health doesn’t upset your travel.
 
  Check Out Those Charities Before You Donate
It's that time of year when every charitable organization asks us to donate money. And we do! But how often do you check to make sure that your money is going to an organization that will spend it the way you hope? It turns out that some of the most well-known charities may be making choices you don't agree with, including spending too much of their money on administrative costs, and too little on education or research or a cure.  Here's some advice for learning more about those charities before you send them your money.
 
  The Ultimate Gift - Organ Donation
It's always a good reminder that at the end of our lives, whether through natural causes or a terrible accident, we can donate our tissues and organs to help someone else.  You may think you can't donate; if so, you are probably wrong! Learn more about the benefits of organ donation and how to make sure your loved ones know you are willing to contribute.
 
  10 Patient Empowerment Tips to Post on Your Refrigerator Door
The refrigerator door - in our home, perhaps like yours, it's a center of information, souvenirs and kids' artwork... So it seems like a great place to hang reminders of the many ways we can be smart patients!  Plus, I've created a fun, but informative poster from the 10 tips, too - which you can download for free.
 
       
 

TOP OF PAGE

 
 

Healthcare Costs and Consumerism

 
 

Double Check Your Doctor Bills
Eight out of 10 medical bills has an error, yet we patients rarely double check to be sure we aren't being billed for services we didn't receive.  Here is an easy way to be sure you aren't the victim of overbilling.

Free access to all archived articles and podcasts.
Register here.
 
 

Be a Smart Health Insurance Consumer
How can you tell which health insurance plan best meets your needs?  (A hint:  It's probably not the one that has the lowest premiums!)

  Prevention:  Stay Healthy and Save Money, Too
Better to proactively prevent medical problems by living healthy than to need to pay for the reactive side of medical care, both in time and money.
 
  Let the State Help You Dispute an Insurance Claim
When you've exhausted your possibilities for getting your claim paid by your insurance company, then ask the state insurance department to lend an assist.  Here's how.
 
  Have You Been Overcharged for Your Healthcare?
Balance billing is a practice that may result in exorbitant charges if you see a doctor or use a testing lab or other facility that has no agreement with your insurance company.  Learn how to take control of those expenses.
 
  When Patients Should Think Like Consumers
From cereal boxes to cans of vegetables, consumer products seem to be shrinking. Have you counted the pills in your prescription bottle lately?
 
  Finding Help for Your Healthcare System Complaints
Each state provides different resources and complaint processes for getting help and answers to problems with your care.  From complaints about doctors, to too little insurance reimbursement or denials of care, you'll want to know how to get your complaints resolved.
 
  Medicare Open Enrollment – Time to Figure It Out
Medicare Open Enrollment, when it's time to choose the right Medicare plan, can be frustrating and overwhelming. Medicare patients are faced with so many choices that it's easy to become confused. Here are some excellent resources to support Medicare decision-making, saving headaches, and money, too.
 
  Can You Really Save Money With a High Deductible Health Insurance Plan?
With their much lower premiums, high deductible health insurance plans, also called "catastrophic" plans are so tempting! For some families they are a great choice, but for others, they end up being "catastropic" for all the wrong reasons. With Open Enrollment time here, it's your opportunity to spend some time making the right decisions for your family. Learn more about your options, and make the right choice for your health and your wallet.
 
 

Healthcare Reform

 
 
The Truth About Senior Death Warrants (August 2009)
Arguments about healthcare reform are inflamed by those who put information in the public domain that is not true, striking fear, anger and confusion into the hearts of American citizens. Learn about one such effort to make you believe fictional information, and what you can do to make sure you aren't spreading lies, too.
 
 

Why Healthcare Reform Is Important to You
No matter how good your health insurance may be, the 47 million uninsured Americans are costing you money out of your pocket, through both your taxes and your premiums.  Learn how that happens, and find resources for learning more.

Free access to all archived articles and podcasts.
Register here.
 
 
Co-ops, Exchanges and the Public Option - Oh My! (September 2009)
This healthcare reform debate has gotten so complex, that it’s easy to be confused by the terminology. Here are brief explanations of some of the concepts being discussed.
 
 
Is Healthcare a Victim of Its Own Success? (January 2010)
Sometimes when we get the most frustrated at the cost of healthcare, it helps to remember the ways it has improved our lives. Yes, it's a different perspective.
 
 
How an Empowered Patient Looks at Healthcare Reform (March 30, 2010)
Passage of healthcare reform in the United States is more about money than quality of care.  Confusion and frustration will lead to quality of care problems that we may be able to forestall by taking steps today.  Here's what you need to know to make sure you get the medical care you deserve.
 
 
Affordable Care May Mean Impossible Care (September 2010)
The Young Adult provision of the new Affordable Care Act will kick in soon. Whether or not you have a young person in your life who can take advantage of it, their new-found access will get in your way.  Learn more about how this provision will affect you and what you can do about it.
 
  The 2012 Elections and the Issue of Healthcare Reform (January 2012)
As the national political season continues to ramp up, and candidates continue to dog on the Affordable Care Act, there are bound to be dozens of emails making the rounds that tell us how dangerous it is. Here are some tips for figuring out whether their claims are accurate, or whether someone is trying to make a fool of you.
 
    No material found in this website is to be reproduced without expressed written consent of the author.   
 

TOP OF PAGE

 
 


 
COLUMNS / PODCASTSSPEAKINGBOOKSNEWSABOUTCONTACTBLOGHOME

© 2005 - Trisha Torrey
Every Patients AdvocateTM

All rights reserved.

No material found in this website is to be reproduced without expressed written consent of the author.

contact (at) EPAdvocate.com