My head is about to burst!

RN Advocates of NCYes, I said that!  I will say it again…. My head is about to burst!  Every day you read, hear or say “there’s an app for that.”  There seems to be an app for virtually everything now.  Don’t get me wrong, I use apps, I have favorite apps and I’ve deleted a lot of apps.  The one type of app I refuse to use is one that is for personalizing medicine or healthcare.

Do we really need an app for this?  What does it really mean to personalize medicine?  To walk into an appointment with a prescription pad out, maybe even prewritten, to look at a computer and type julietta online casino in responses to questions (many of which are yes/no questions)?  To input symptoms into an app to look for the most common cause of the symptoms?  To do this before doing an actual physical assessment?

My definition of personalized healthcare is actually quite simple:  To LOOK at the person, to LISTEN to their story, to TOUCH and ASSESS in an appropriate manner and, yes, to SMELL.  Odors can be very telling.  The PERSON is what is most important.  What do they want, need, feel?  What are their goals?  How can we help the PERSON, not the symptom…? One will follow the other.  If you allow it to.

Now, as a disclaimer, do I advocate not using tools such as testing, imaging, or apps?  No.  But I do advocate using them after you actually see and hear the person’s story.

That is personalized medicine!

 

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ARE YOUR MEDICAL BILLS CORRECT?

I have heard this story many times:  You or a family member has just been discharged from the hospital and a few weeks later the bills start arriving.  Wanting to avoid any problems, you open the bill and simply pay it.  Or, feeling overwhelmed and still healing, you set it aside and plan to deal with it later.  Later becomes a month and the bills are piling up.   So what should you do?

RN Patient Advocate Winston Salem, NCMaking sure your bills are correct begins while you are in the hospital.  Keep notes of everything done and everyone who sees you.  Ask for a completely itemized statement and compare this to your notes.

And look for these: Duplicate charges, upcharges and bundled items

Beware of shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, kits, trays, toilet paper and light bulbs

Be sure the doctors have ordered it!  You cannot be charged for something not ordered in writing by your doctor.

So, what are the chances your bills are incorrect?  Pretty high.  It is estimated that 80-90% of bills are incorrect.  A typical hospital bill for a 3 day stay is created by between 250 and 300 people.  It is easy to see how at least one person can make an error, even more than one.

And the importance of paying the bills has increased.  Hospital and medical bills are being sent to collections faster than ever, many after 30 days.  Medical bills account for 50% of all collections in the US.  In 2010, 30 Million Americans were sent to collections over unpaid medical bills.  Communications with the hospital is most important to prevent being sent to collections.

As always, ask your independent RN Patient Advocate for help when, or before you need it.

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Finding A New Doctor, The Advocate Way

It’s always an intimidating task: you just moved to a new area and you need to find a new doctor. This on top of finding a place to live, starting a new job, changing your driver’s license over, getting the kids registered for school. I’ve said it myself, “I don’t have time for this!”
Now your Personal Patient Advocate can take the frustration off your list! To find the right doctor, here are some Article - Medical Advocate FINDING A NEW DOCTOR, THE ADVOCATE WAYimportant things your Advocate can do for you:

Narrow down the field: What kind of doctor are you looking for? Do you need general practitioner (primary care doctor) or a specialist such as a gynecologist or cardiologist? The choices can be overwhelming.

Is national certification above licensure important to you? Look for extra letters behind the name.
Traditional, Holistic, Integrative, Functional? Maybe you are looking for Complimentary such as a Chiropractor or Acupuncturist.

Do they accept your insurance? This may, for some be the deciding factor, or, you may decide it is worth it to go out of network.

Always check if there have been complaints filed against them or medical malpractice lawsuits. What were the decisions?

What are the qualities you are looking for? What were the best qualities in previous doctors and what do you not want?

What have other patients experienced with the same doctor? Always check references.
Schedule time to meet the doctor before you make a commitment. This is the person whose hands you are putting your life into. If they refuse to do this, what else will they refuse to do?

Your Personal Patient Advocate can research all of this and more before you make that first phone call. I will sit down with you; discuss your personal needs and physician “wish list” with you. Once we have all the basic information, RN Patient Advocates of NC, LLC will compile a list of physicians who meet your needs, check their license for any claims against. If that weren’t enough, we will also make every attempt to meet each individual doctor and pre-screen them for you. You receive all this information in writing, making your decision as to whom your new physician is an easier one. After all, you ARE putting your life in your doctor’s hands…. You deserve the best!

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