Abandoned By Your Pharmacy

When I called my pharmacy to refill my blood pressure medication prescription a live person answered. I was so startled I blurted out, “Why are you answering the phone?” I had autodialed the familiar voicemail phone number for prescription refills at the pharmacy I had patronized for the past eight years. My beloved pharmacy (because...

Caregiving. Who’s To Say What It Is?

The American Cancer Society’s descriptions of caregiving tasks were, I recently found, little more than what one might do for someone with the flu. This discrepancy made me reexamine my own caregiving tasks when caring for my wife, who eventually died from terminal brain cancer. For example, at cancer.org the Society provided two lists of...

Whatcom: Chronic & Acute Up Close

You don’t own your digital healthcare data and so you (the patient) cannot dictate who can receive it. Instead of negotiating with you about your digital healthcare data, the recipient you choose must negotiate for your data with the hospital that owns your data and its co-owner, the Information Technology (IT) company that provides the...

CAREGIVERS PROTECTING PATIENTS

For two months I had been searching for an audience for a presentation about my book, Waking Up Dying, without any luck. I had written my book with three audiences in mind: healthcare providers (doctors and nurses), caregivers (friends, family and loved ones of patients) and patients (stricken men and women, mainly with terminal diagnoses)....

Follow The Money

Follow The Money Most of what is being done in the name of healthcare reform and end-of-life preparation is determined by the availability of money to support the efforts. No funds, no effort. It doesn’t matter what the cause or need is. That’s life, most of us have learned. Follow the money. It is discouraging...

HEALTH INSURANCE DOESN’T TRAVEL WELL

HEALTH INSURANCE DOESN’T TRAVEL WELL Seriously ill people must take their health insurance with them when they travel. But not all health insurance is portable and so continuing care and treatment away from home can be difficult. Patients may have a bucket list to fulfill or be seeking alternative treatment or want to visit loved...

Understanding Healthcare Benefits

Will your healthcare benefits take care of you? Not if you don’t understand how to use them or how they function. Take for instance the Public Employee Benefit Board (PEBB). Not even Washington State’s Office of the Insurance Commissioner or its Health Care Authority can explain it. The situation is so bad that the Insurance...

THE GAPING HOLE IN ACUTE TREATMENT

THE GAPING HOLE IN ACUTE TREATMENT Nowadays, when you wake up dying, it may take months or years to reach the end of life.  Dying today can be costly in every way. “Improvements in medical science and healthcare have gradually changed the nature of dying.  Death is no longer predominately likely to be the sudden...

Healthcare Providers – Good, Bad and Ugly

Providers can be defined as everyone working within the healthcare system. They are all of those who, in some fashion, are in the business or profession of providing care to a patient. Providers include state and county government, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, clinics, medical care management companies (such as PeaceHealth in Washington) and a host...

PRESCRIPTIONS DENIED AND LOST

DENIED PRESCRIPTIONS What does a prescription mean to a patient? To most it is obviously medicine to treat disease, perhaps to sustain life. But to health insurers, employers, pharmacies and others a prescription is a benefit. A benefit is something to be authorized, approved, controlled, processed and cost-managed. Its use as medicine may hardly even...