Step by Step Guide for Patient Advocates

"Right Care, Right Now" is one of the best practical, no-nonsense guides about representing a patient in today's health care system that we have ever seen on the market.

We're biased, of course.

But people who find themselves suddenly thrust into the world of health and patient advocacy don't have a lot of time to read massive books that often hijack themselves with story upon story of health care gone awry.

This book was written for people short on time who need information fast.

It contains twenty chapters of powerful patient advocate strategies and techniques, and it is heavily linked to major research,  physician, hospital, drug, government insurance (Medicare, Medicaid), and health insurance websites.

A partial list:

  • How to avoid the top ten mistakes made by most health advocates.

  • How to research medical treatment options (and why you shouldn't rely on Google).

  • How to find the best doctors, surgeons and hospitals, and which questions you should ask before you hire them.

  • How to do background checks on doctors and hospitals.

  • When and how to fire a doctor.

  • How to get second and third doctor opinions, and why colleagues of your primary doctor should not be involved in these opinions.

  • Researching and sourcing the best and most economical medications.
  • How to work with Medicare and private insurance companies, and deal with excessive charges and billings.

  • How to appeal insurance denials of insurance coverage.
  • How to establish your legal and practical role as a patient advocate, or outsource to a professional or volunteer advocate.

"Right Care, Right Now" is not just a book - it is a reference guide that will give you the tools you need to make good decisions about patient care.

EXCERPTS:

From Chapter 1:

"Your role as a health advocate can mean the difference between life and death for someone you love."

"Every year more than 200,000 deaths in the United States result from hospital errors that could have been prevented. They happen because of distractions, shift changes, miscommunication, or natural human error. Every day there are thousands of examples of misdiagnosis, mistakes with prescriptions and dosages, procedural errors in hospitals, and other problems, nearly all of which could be prevented with quality and procedural control measures."

From Chapter 9:

It’s not good enough that Aunt Gertrude likes the doctor and the hospital. Do background checks.

You don’t have to be at the mercy of a website or a referral. You can find the answers about a doctor’s license for yourself...

Useful Websites

DocFinder
www.docboard.org

This remains the only combined database of all licensing jurisdictions that has its direct source of data from state licensing boards.

Federation of State Medical Boards
www.fsmb.org/directory_smb.html

This website has links to state medical and osteopathic boards.

Review Sites
www.healthgrades.com and www.ratemds.com

These sites sponsor patient reviews and grading of hospitals and doctors according to their perceived performance in making correct prognoses and successful treatment plans. Regard these sites with caution, as these ratings can be based on highly subjective and personal criteria. If you see that a doctor has been
sued, that’s not unusual. Malpractice cases are common, and a large number of them are won by doctors, dismissed, or settled out of court. But if you notice that a doctor has been sued many times, it’s worth taking a second look at that doctor’s credentials.

Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER)
www.pacer.gov

This electronic public access service allows users to obtain case and docket information from federal appellate, district and bankruptcy courts, and the PACER “Case Locator” via the Internet. PACER is provided by the federal judiciary in keeping with its commitment to providing public access to court information via a centralized service. The cost is very reasonable.

AND MUCH, MUCH MORE...


About the author:

Stuart D. Heaslet is a professional researcher, writer and businessman whose life was transformed when he became a health advocate for his father who had suffered a major stroke. In addition to the author's experience, the book draws upon the advice and recommendations of health care professionals and patient advocate experts.

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