The other night my wife, Esther, and I had a lovely, leisurely dinner near Seattle with Gilles Frydman of New York City. Gilles was in town for a conference at Microsoft. His visit offered a great chance to catch up and discuss in-person our plan to work together to produce many new programs for the benefit of cancer patients. Gilles is a true pioneer when it comes to online health communications for patients. He is also a strong voice for patients being in first position and doctors and other members of the healthcare provider team serving them as advisors –...

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Your Emails Guide Us from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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It’s been coming to our attention more and more: healthcare decisions are often propelled by business decisions, sometimes even by greed, and each of us better pay attention so that our personal health is not put at risk. The other night I was watching an episode of “House M.D.,” one of my favorite television shows. This episode showed one “pressure cooker” day in the life of Dr. Lisa Cuddy, the CEO of the hospital featured each week. Part of the plot showed the negotiation with a huge health plan. Dr. Cuddy finally pressured them into paying 12% more for care...

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Avoiding a Missed Diagnosis from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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The Republicans want to start from scratch. The President says no. A interparty healthcare reform summit is scheduled before live television cameras at Blair House. Will anything happen or does healthcare reform remain stuck, one Massachusetts senator short? There is no “free lunch” as the clock ticks. Millions go every day without insurance. But some of them, with acute conditions, show up at hospital emergency rooms. The hospitals, by law, cannot turn them away. Write offs mount and some of our hospitals may go under. So not only does the delay, inaction, or maybe even permanent (I sure hope not!)...

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Your Contributions Make a Difference from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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Never Give Up Hope: Boy Born with No Immune System Now Thriving from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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Question: Are political pressures on pharmaceutical companies and the medical community getting in the way of worthy education and public service projects? First some transparency: I am not nor have I ever been an employee of any drug company nor has anyone in my family. As far as I know, we own no stock in a pharmaceutical company. My connection with the pharma industry has been in two ways: 1) a biotech drug used in an experimental way (Rituxan from Genentech) has provided me with an extended remission for my chronic lymphocytic leukemia and 2) from time to time my...

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Actor Jon Voight has had a long and enduring career – even if his relationship off screen with daughter Angelina Jolie has been rocky. Voight blasted onto the national stage decades ago in “Midnight Cowboy” and was front and center and the baddest of bad guys last year in TV’s “24.” His movies and television shows are easy to find and continue to have entertainment value that don’t diminish with time. At the gym the other day, while on vacation in Indio, CA, Jon Voight was there again. A movie was from years ago was on the TV monitor right...

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Okay, so I tweaked CNN about Dr. Gupta not returning my calls. The CNN producers tweaked back with a holiday gift. The i-report I produced on a whim last weekend about the need to pass healthcare reform legislation, no matter what, was aired several times on 12/23. How did I know? I got an urgent call from daughter Ruthie, 16. She is plugged in electronically to a huge network of teenagers nationwide. The east coasters saw me on CNN at least twice this past Wednesday. I was surprised that I made the grade out of thousands of i-reports CNN receives...

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