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Health Advocacy

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Ethics for Healthcare

News & Links

  Health Advocacy featured on NPR!
Health Advocate Dr. Steve Pew is interviewed on Kansas City, MO NPR affiliate KCUR. Full story

What is Health Advocacy

This section is provided to give you further access to information about Health Advocacy. The following links are provided for educational purposes. HALO has used discretion in locating these sites but does not guarantee the accuracy or availability of these sites. This is not intended to offer medical, legal, or other professional advice or recommendations. If you have any questions about your personal healthcare, please discuss these with your doctor.

New Health Advocacy DVD "Things You Should Know Before Entering The Hospital"

Each year over 98,000 deaths and 71 wrong-site operations occur due to medical errors in hospitals. It’s important to arm yourself with as much information as possible to keep you, your family and friends safe while in the hospital.

What do you need to know before entering a hospital? How should you prepare? How do you protect yourself from medical errors?

This film will answer those questions and give you a step-by-step guide to help you maintain your health, safety and privacy while in the hospital. Make sure you watch this with your family and friends. You’ll need them as your advocates 24 hours a day. Purchase DVD

Privacy and Patient Advocacy Groups Questions HIPAA Protections
November 11,2005

Privacy breaches of confidential information in other industries have the groups questioning if HIPAA's protections are satisfactory. "Simply put, we don't think the legal protection under HIPPAA is sufficient for the technological development planned. We're not opposed to the technology, but we feel there should be more safeguards when (transmitting) some medical information, "said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center

Advocacy builds better consumers
Jill Elswick Employee Benefit News September 1, 2002

In an environment of rising health care "consumerism" and imminent patient privacy requirements, some employers are providing advocacy services as an employee benefit to help plan participants and their families navigate an increasingly stormy and complex health care system.

Evidence suggests such services may be badly needed. Most mistakes, such as inappropriate care denials and billing errors, originate not with consumers but with plan administrators (54%) and care providers participant advocacy services department over an 18-monthperiod from January.

What scares doctors should worry you, too

The Olympian, May 2, 2006

This week’s Time magazine contains a sobering article on the state of medicine in our country. Using the clever hook of doctors turned patients and their subsequent travails within their own healthcare systems, the writers address some very serious issues involving medical mistakes, unnecessary testing and pressure to use newer drugs.

Healthcare Consumers Emerge in Canada
Canadian health benefit plan members are becoming more active and empowered in the decisions that affect their own personal healthcare, a significant shift from the once passive attitude of "doctor knows best," according to a new survey. The survey results indicate that these Canadians are seeking information, requesting second opinions and gathering information from sources other than their doctor- a trend identified as the emergence of the healthcare consumer.

Sanofi-aventis Canada, Inc. commissioned Ipsos-Reid to conduct the 2006 survey, which polled 1,500 employee health benefit holders from across Canada. It found that benefit plan members are attempting to make more informed decisions regarding their healthcare, prioritizing health related educational and support services from their employers.

    The majority of respondents report being active in decisions that affect their healthcare. For example, six in 10 (61%) say that when it comes to their healthcare, they look up their own information, question their doctor, and seek second opinions according to what they've learned.

Sixty-three percent of health benefit plan members are "very" or "somewhat frequently" obtaining health information from healthcare professionals, the Internet and other sources of information are quickly becoming alternative healthcare resources for Canadians.

Four in 10 (43%) of respondents regularly access the Internet for information to help them in their healthcare decisions, three in 10 (29%) rely on media and 16% routinely receive health information from their employer.

There is a better appreciation of the true cost attributed to benefits in 2006, since 54% of respondents identify the cost of plans as over 1,200 annually, versus only 14% in 1999. The employer's cost of a typical plan would generally exceed $1,200 per employee annually.

Employer-supplied educational and support services are highly valued by employees. In fact, 79% of respondents indicate that employee assistance programs offering stress management, substance abuse support/management, eldercare and childcare are a "somewhat" or "very high" priority.

When asked what steps employers could take to make it easier for employees to adopt healthier behaviors, plan members most frequently identify the following: fitness/sport activities (40%); health promotion (35%); healthier food cafeteria (8%); flexible schedules (7%); and less stressful environment (6%).

  It's the tip of the health consumerism iceberg! People are starting to take ownership, at least at an information level, "says Anthony May, a member of The sanofi-aventis Healthcare Survey Advisory Board who works for Manulife Financial in Vancouver. "It's the first real evidence that we have seen that demonstrates this shift in personal responsibility when it comes to health outcomes"

Source: Sanofi-aventis, May 30, 2006