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Wise Health Care Consumer Guide: Medical Power of Attorney and Advanced Directives

When a patient cannot speak for themselves and their loved ones are unclear about that patient’s wishes, this leaves the health care team with little to no guidance as to how to proceed in a moment of crisis. In addition, sometimes there is confusion about which loved one should be making the medical decisions in […]

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Wise Health Care Consumer Guide: HIPAA forms

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed in 1996 and modified and tweaked for several years afterward. It was mainly intended to help people maintain their health insurance as they went from job to job. HIPAA also had the goal of keeping our medical information private as that knowledge in the wrong […]

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Our Medical Records for Sale? The Launch of Google’s Project Baseline

With the premiere of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” movie, the issue of informed consent about our own body tissues and medical information has resurfaced.  The Verge (see below for link) recently reported that Google through their Alphabet Verily division is launching Project Baseline to enroll 10,000 participants to use their medical test results and other […]

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Adventures in Misdiagnosis: The “Sinatra” infection?

There’s so many ways that mistakes are made in the health care chain. Sometimes, I think our medical information falls prey to a game of “Telephone” where the story gets changed as it gets passed along. Here’s something that happened to me recently: I received a call from my doctor’s office with the results of bacterial culture […]

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Patient Safety: Hospital Medication Mistakes

The World Health Organization just announced that they are targeting medication mistakes which they say kill one person per day and injures 1.3 million per year. Their goal is to work with health care professionals to stop these errors from happening. My goal as a patient advocate is to educate people, especially those going to […]

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Wise Health Care Consumer Guide: Understanding Colonoscopy Billing

One of the major benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was the preventative care coverage. This has led many of us to take the wise step in early detection screening. Yet, there are still things to know to be a wise health care consumer when going in for one of these exams: #1) This […]

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Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice (MOON): Important Information for All Medicare Enrollees

Today, March 8, 2017, the Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice (MOON) goes into effect.  This is important for all Medicare participants who might need to go to the hospital during a medical crisis. -All hospitals are required to furnish patients with an oral explanation of the patient’s hospital status as well as a written form to […]

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Medical Records: Don’t leave the ER without them!

While in a life or limb-threatening emergency, emotions run high and it’s difficult to think of what comes next. Yet, whether admitted to the hospital or discharged, it’s always a good idea to ask for the medical records before leaving. Why is this so important? When I get calls from frustrated or angry clients, it’s […]

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Taming High Medical Bills? Partnership=Success!

Last Friday evening, I got a text from one of my clients asking me to check my email. There I found the financial aid letter that reduced my client’s hospital bill from $30,000 to $7,000—saving them $23,000. I was so glad my client let me know—it was a great way for both of us to celebrate […]

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Fax Machines: Still the Heart of Health Care

Many people are surprised when they are asked to fax health care information in order to handle medical issues.  It’s important to understand that unlike emails, faxes cannot be hacked, so they are the perfect way to keep our personal information private. Yet, many people have gotten rid of their fax machines in favor of better, faster […]

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