Consider Integrative Medicine from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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I made the trek today, in the gloomy and changeable Seattle Spring weather, to my six month cancer checkup. The routine is this: blood draw about 30 minutes before seeing my community oncologist and friend Dr. Andrew Jacobs. While I dread the day we have bad results to talk about, hoping that will never come, today’s visit was, once again, routine and only continued good news. We spoke about our families, Passover tonight, and health care reform. My blood test results were virtually all normal. That led to a brief acknowledgment that the three drug combination I received almost 10...

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The other day, before Sunday’s vote in the House of Representatives, I wrote an email to a congressman from my home state, Washington, who was “on the fence” about healthcare reform. Brian Baird does not represent my district, a conservative Republican does, Dave Reichert. Reichert was in lock step with the Republican leadership and went on TV Sunday to tell a tale of woe about the pending legislation. Meanwhile Brian Baird, a Democrat, must have read my email and so many others and did, in the end, vote yes. Thank goodness! Why am I a supporter of this imperfect step...

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OK. It has come down to this week: Will Democrats, on their own, pass the start of what could be pivotal healthcare reform legislation? I am one who is hoping they will and will be hopping mad if they don’t. I am praying key Democratic Congressmen will vote for what’s good for the country and not worry only about some ultra-conservative in their district. Is the legislation perfect? No. Have thousands of lobbyists for unions and every segment of healthcare spent millions of dollars crawling all over this? Yes. Now, with the President pushing, it is “showtime.” Millions who are...

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Speaking up for Yourself to Avoid a Medical Mistake from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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Over the past week I have had several conversations with people who work with me and people who live nearby about the trials and tribulations of navigating the healthcare system when you or a loved one is facing a serious illness. Two people talked to me about the disease I have faced: chronic lymphocytic leukemia. While the initial treatment I received in a clinical trial worked great – so far (almost 10 years), a neighbor’s health is failing after several courses of therapy. The experts don’t agree what to do. I guided him to two more experts I trust in...

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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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March 2010
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