Improving health care, its quality and affordability is everyone’s responsibility and everyone has a role to play.
Like most American families with school aged children, our family’s annual flurry of back-to-school preparations includes an annual visit to our child’s pediatrician. Since we generally must take time off work to fit in the pediatrician’s visit around the flurry of work, carpool and other demands of daily living, like most families blessed with relatively healthy children, we tend to remember to schedule the visit when prompted by a minor health concern and/or to save up our requests for prescription refills and questions and concerns about minor or chronic health care issues to discuss with the pediatrician while he conducts his annual check of our sons’ height, weight, blood sugar, eyesight, immunizations and other basic health concerns normally included in an annual well child checkup. Unfortunately, the opportunity for parents to use a single office visit to the pediatrician for a single fee to get caught up with our pediatrician on all current and recurring health care questions and concerns about our child while the pediatrician also conducts an annual checkup appears to be the latest healthcare casualty of Obamacare.
By: Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, Publisher, Solutions Law Press, Inc.; Executive Director, PROJECT COPE: Coalition on Patient Empowerment & Coalition for Responsible Healthcare Policy American patients and their families need to be careful about mindlessly making […]
Consumers, health care providers and others concerned about nutrition labeling should review proposed changes to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food labeling rules recently proposed by the FDA and submit any comments by the […]
The reality is that a patient and his or her family realistically cannot be expected, without the assistance of a physician or other competent medical professional, to evaluate and determine in any meaningful and reliable way the suitability of particular medications or other treatments based on these warnings or alerts without the aid assistance of a competent physician or other medical professional knowledgeable about the patient’s overall condition and needs and the medication or other contemplated treatment. While the collection and dissemination of this information remains important to help ensure that patients in conjunction with their treatment team make the most reasonable informed decision possible in light of the currently available medical evidence, however, it is critical to keep in mind its limitations and the limitations on the ability of the average patient and his or her family to grasp and properly use this information to determine the proper course of treatment and properly use the medication to achieve the desired outcome with the minimum risk of side effects. Like most diseases, the lack of clear solution for the conundrum doesn’t mean we should abandon these warnings. However, it is critical we acknowledge that while patients need to be informed, evolving medical evidence and the technical nature of the findings of the moment limit the ability of most patients to properly assimilate the evidence and its associated warnings without the help of qualified medical professionals. Even when a patient understands the potential benefits and risks, the patient and their family often fail to properly grasp how best to use the medication to maximize its benefits. At best, the warnings should prompt patients and their physicians to discuss more fully the possible benefits and risks of particular treatments and how best to use the medications chosen to enhance the potential for the most desirable outcome with a minimum of side effects. Understanding and using the warnings and other information from research and medication labels can offer meaningful opportunities to enhance communication between patients and providers and educate patients about their choices and the steps to properly use the medication can help improve outcomes. To best promote this goal, however, Americans need to accept that the current manner in which warnings are provided in medication labels and advertising is unsuitable to achieve this goal in most instances and to make improving the understandability of this information and its proper use by patients in consultation with their physicians as a priority in their health care reform efforts.
April 18–25 is National Infant Immunization Week. Publicity over measles, rotavirus, pertussis, polio, rubella, various flu strains and the much rarer Ebola and other viruses have helped remind Americans that immunizations play a critical role […]
Providing meaningful support of caregivers is a growing, challenging and essential urgent need for the millions of Americans acting as caregivers elderly, disabled, injured or ill family members or friends.
Caregiving is surprisingly common. More than 51 million Americans or 31% percent of the adult population age 20 to 75 provide informal care to a family member or friend who is ill or disabled.
These caregivers are the lifelines of the people they care for and the predominant and growing long-term care system in the United States. They are a lifeline for the people they support and our long term care system and they need help. Here’s some resources and ways you can help.
The growth in the number of Americans diagnosed with Asperger’s and other Autism spectrum disorders is fueling demands to identify the “cause” and to find a “cure” that to “fix” the these “conditions” while individuals labeled with these conditions and their families struggle to cope.
While certain therapeutic interventions often provide some relief for stress, anxiety and other complications experienced by those diagnosed with Asperger’s or other Autism spectrum syndromes, make it easier for schools, employers, families or others encountering them, or both, the current treatments are not a cure and typically provide only limited relief for some of the symptoms. As a result, individuals with Asperger’s and other Autism spectrum syndromes and the families, friends, employers, schools, businesses and other elements of the community often struggle to cope.
Their experience reflects that the pragmatic solutions for helping those with Asperger’s function better in ordinary society lies in abandoning efforts to cure individuals with Asperger’s by forcing the reprograming of their operating system in favor of all parties working accept these differences and working together to bridge the difference thru mutual understanding, collaboration, compromise and respect. Approached from this perspective, the Asperger’s solution becomes not a cure, but an integration and communication management process with the goal of effectively integrating and managing the interactions between those with Asperger’s to the maximum benefit of all parties.
The resources shared, while not a panacea, provide valuable functional strategies that help people with Asperger’s cope with those around them and those in the community and family to interact more effectively with individuals with Asperger’s. While helping to ease today’s challenges, the insights shared of Asperger Experts who know what it is like to live in society with their condition provides equally valuable understanding that challenges all to embrace the notion that people with and without Asperger’s function somewhat differently, they share many commonalities. The shared goal should be to look beyond the labels and stereotypes by understanding these differences and working together to accommodate each other with mutual respect and understanding.
Beginning January 1, 2014, the individual coverage mandate rules of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (ACA) generally required most American citizens to maintain health coverage meeting the “minimum essential coverage” mandates of ACA or pay an “individual shared responsibility payment.” With the deadline for filing 2014 individual tax returns rapidly approaching, Americans now generally will be required to show their fulfillment of or exemption from this mandate or pay the “individual shared responsibility” payment that ACA imposes as a penalty for failing to meet its individual coverage mandates when filing their 2014 individual tax returns
Health care providers, health plans and insurers, employers, providers, patients, states, consumer groups, individual Americans and others concerned about health care in the United States should sign up and participate in the new Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network (“Network”) the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is creating to help shape the transformation of the nation’s health care delivery system to promote better care, smarter spending, and healthier people through the expansion of new health care payment models and other reforms. HHS is inviting private payers, employers, providers, patients, states, consumer groups, individual consumers, and other partners within the health care community to register here to participate in the Network activities including kickoff event scheduled for Wednesday, March 25, 2015.