Take Charge


Report Warns of Kids Returning to Sports Too Soon After Concussions
The Wall Street Journal

Panel Says There’s Still a ‘Culture of Resistance’ on Reporting and Treating Brain Injuries.

WASHINGTON—Students who return to sports too soon after a concussion risk a second brain injury with potentially more severe consequences, according to an influential panel of experts.


Ending Domestic Violence is a Group Effort
Healthy Cal

For two years, she had been trying — and failing — to get away from the violence and abuse. She worried not only about her own safety, but also the safety of her three young children. She wanted a divorce. She wanted custody.


Not taking your medicine as directed can do more than just send you to the hospital …
Script Your Future

Image of Not taking your medicine as directed can do more than just send you to the hospital …

Did You Know: 3 out of 4 people don’t take their medicine as directed.

When you learn that you have a long-term health problem, one of the most important ways you can manage your condition is by taking your medicine as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional. This is also known as medication adherence.

Many people never fill their prescriptions, or they may never pick up their filled prescriptions from the pharmacy. Other people bring their medication home, but don’t follow their health care professional’s instructions – they skip doses or stop taking the medicine, or they take more than instructed or at the wrong time of day.

Not taking your medicine as directed can be bad for your health – it can make it harder to breathe or do everyday things. It can rob you of a long and full life. Not taking your medicine as directed can also lead to other health problems, especially if you already have asthma, diabetes, or high blood pressure.


College prep, this time for health
The New York Times

To me, the strangest thing about my son’s college health forms was that they did not require my signature.

From a medical point of view, an 18-year-old is a legal adult. Yes, parents may offer up pithy remarks about who is actually an adult, and in what sense, and who pays the bills. But when children head off to college, responsibility for their health unmistakably shifts. They must take care of themselves, in every sense, and now is the time to talk about how.


Consumer Tip: Watch out for ‘affordable’ health care scams
Marin Independent Journal


Watch out for insurance SCAMS

You receive a phone message that, because of the recent Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Health Care Act, you have an opportunity to get health care at substantially discounted rates. You call the 800-number, and the salesperson offers “superior” health insurance at “group” rates with savings of 50 percent or more.

However, be aware of several scams that boast a special affinity to this federal act.


Take charge of your healthcare

You play an important role when it comes to managing your healthcare. There are four important ways you can actively participate in the process.

Press release

Know your patient rights, says Californians for Patient Care
Take charge of your health

Celebrate the spirit of Independence Day by taking charge of your health

SACRAMENTO – July 1, 2011 – California consumers have healthcare rights that they may not be aware of, according to Californians for Patient Care, an independent nonprofit and patient advocate that connects consumers to affordable care. Exercising these rights may give patients greater control over their healthcare experiences and even improve their health.


Preparing for your appointment

Congratulations on taking charge of your health! Californians for Patient Care has some tips for you to help make the most of your upcoming appointment.

Before your appointment:

Call the facility where you are scheduled to be seen. Ask them:

  • What type of identification will they need?
    IMPORTANT NOTE: Showing your ID is important for your health and safety and is critical to ensuring that you get treatment, medications and/or tests that are meant for you, not for someone else. Failing to show your proper ID jeopardizes your personal/patient safety and could put you at risk of immeasurable harm, as severe injury or even death may result.
  • Is proof of income required? If so, what type of documentation do they require? (see below for examples)*

3 questions to ask your healthcare professional
Californians for Patient Care shares with you some important information by the National Patient Safety Foundation to help you take charge of your health.

Image of 3 questions to ask your healthcare professional

Ask Me 3™ is a patient education program created by the National Patient Safety Foundation® to help promote discussions between you and your healthcare providers to ultimately improve your health outcomes. Here are a few simple questions you should ask your healthcare professional at your next visit.

  1. What is my main problem?
  2. What do I need to do?
  3. Why is it important for me to do this?

And now that you have asked the questions, it is important for you to continue the discussion so that you have a good understanding of the answers to your questions.

We invite you to click on the links below for more detail and additional helpful tips to help you take charge of your health.


Your healthcare rights

When you receive healthcare services, you have certain rights and protections under U.S. law.  A number of regulations work together to guarantee these rights and protections.


Your Medicare rights

No matter what type of Medicare coverage you have, you have certain guaranteed rights. 


You have the right to an interpreter

Look for doctors and office staff who speak your family’s language, or ask for an interpreter if you need one to talk to your doctor or your child’s doctor. Certified medical interpreters are trained to translate health information correctly. They must keep your information private.


On National Healthcare Decisions Day: Foundation reflections on efforts to promote end-of-life planning
Health Affairs

Today, on National Healthcare Decisions Day, authors Kate O’Malley of the California HealthCare Foundation and Nancy Zweibel of the Retirement Research Foundation, discuss how foundation efforts have contributed to the adoption and expansion of a standard paradigm for end-of-life planning.


California’s breast density notification law goes into effect
California Healthline

On Monday [April 1, 2013], a new state law took effect that requires physicians to notify women if they have dense breast tissue, which could be associated with a higher risk of breast cancer, KQED’s “State of Health” reports (Aliferis, “State of Health,” KQED, 3/29).

About the New Law

In September 2012, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed into law a bill (SB 1538) — by former Sen.Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) — that requires that women who receive mammograms be informed if they have dense breast tissue.

The law also requires that those women be informed about how the density of their breast tissue can affect mammogram results and cancer risk (California Healthline, 9/24/12).


Leaving hospital? Heed care tips or you may return
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Lee knew he was still in bad shape when he left the hospital five days after emergency heart surgery. But he was so eager to escape the constant prodding and the roommate’s loud TV that he tuned out the nurses’ care instructions.

“I was really tired of Jerry Springer,” the New York man says ruefully. “I was so anxious to get out that it sort of overrode everything else that was going on around me.”

Did you Know?

You have a right to know about your doctor’s qualifications

Effective June 27, 2010, all California doctors are required to notify their patients that they are licensed by the Medical Board of California and provide the Medical Board’s contact information. This notice may either be prominently posted in the doctor’s office, or it may be in the form of a written statement that is given to the patient.  The written notification must include the Medical Board of California’s telephone number and Web site. Consumers can contact the Medical Board to check on a doctor’s license status or to file a complaint.


Understanding your doctor’s orders

To avoid a relapse of your condition or readmission to the hospital, it is important that you understand the directions your doctor or other healthcare provider is giving you. There are steps you can take to improve your recovery once you leave your healthcare providers office. To ensure that you understand the directions, we suggest:

• Asking your care provider to use plain language rather than medical jargon. Don’t know what a myocardio infarction is?


Tips on how to make your hospital stay safe
The following tips on how to make your hospital stay as safe as possible recently appeared in the Los Angeles Times

Be prepared

Research the hospital your doctor recommends and the procedure you’re set to have. Check Medicare’s Hospital Compare website (hospitalcompare.hhs.gov) for information about medical centers’ performance. Some states publish hospital report cards, another source worth checking.

Ask your doctor how many procedures of this kind she’s done, what results she usually achieves and how often potential complications occur (for instance, how often do people having hip replacements get infections?).


Patients want to control the privacy of their health info
Clinical Innovation + Technology

Patients desire granular privacy control over their electronic health information, according to research published online Nov. 26 by the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

“One barrier that has been identified in the acceptance of health technologies such as EHRs is concern about privacy and security,” wrote lead author Kelly Caine, PhD, an assistant professor in the school of computing at Clemson University in Clemson, S.C. “The introduction of IT into a system is widely understood to fundamentally change the nature of individual privacy because it enables collection and storage of data on a scale not possible using non-electronic methods.”


Family health history: ‘best kept secret’ in care
The Associated Press

Holiday gatherings can be a good chance to have a conversation and gather information about your family’s health history, which is key to healthcare. The U.S. Surgeon General operates a free Web site — https://familyhistory.hhs.gov — that helps people create a family health history and share it electronically with relatives and their doctor.