Health Navigator NY

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Health Navigator NY radio and television content, social media messaging, and this website offers consumers information, resources , and stories of real people actively engaged in their health care.

Listen to the Capitol Pressroom live
weekdays at 11 a.m.

The streaming player is available beginning at 10:35 a.m.

May 2017 Archive


May 22, 2017: “Health Navigator NY”-How do we know nursing home regulations are working?

Guest: Cynthia Rudder, PhD, a consultant with the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-term Care.


May 15, 2017: “Health Navigator NY”-“If it becomes law, how will the latest version of healthcare reform affect New York consumers?”

Guest:  Bill Hammond, Health Policy Director, Empire Center


May 08, 2017: “Health Navigator NY”-How can community schools create better access to healthcare?

Guests: Christopher Caruso, Executive Director of Community Schools at the New York City Department of Education

Reuben Jacobson, the Deputy Director for the Coalition for Community Schools


May 02, 2017: “Health Navigator NY”-Choosing a health advocate.

If you need legal advice, you talk to a lawyer—an advocate. As the healthcare system gets more complicated, it might be a good idea to research a health advocate to work with you and on your behalf.  Today “Health Navigator NY” looks at what a health advocate is and how you can find one. Our guest for this week’s “Health Navigator” segment is Trisha Torrey, founder and director of the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates and the founder of Advoconnection.com.

April 2017 Archive

April 24, 2017: “Health Navigator NY”- How to prepare for a doctor’s appointment?

Beth van Bladel, Director of the Capital Region Patient Advocacy, will explain how you can better prepare to go to the doctor.


April 17, 2017: “Health Navigator NY”- What are “Open Notes”?

Betsy Lowe, a patient and family advisor at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

AND

Catherine (Cait) DesRoches, DrPH (Doctor of Public Health) and the Open Notes Executive Director.


April 10, 2017: “Health Navigator NY”- I received a medical bill from the insurance company that’s wrong!  What do I do now?

Charles Bell, programs director for the Consumers Union


April 03, 2017: “Health Navigator NY”- What are Patient & Family Advisory Councils?

Nancy Landor, Senior Director of Strategic Quality Initiatives at the Healthcare Association of New York State

March 2017 Archive

March 27, 2017: “Health Navigator NY”- What do I need to know about HIPAA?

Cindy Nappa, Privacy Officer at Upstate Medical University


March 20, 2017: “Health Navigator NY”- How do I get an accurate family health history?

Teresa Kruisselbrink, is a certified genetic counselor at the Mayo Clinic


March 13, 2017: “Health Navigator NY”- How do I pay for nursing home care?

Cynthia Rudder, Ph.D., semi-retired consultant for the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care/Founder of the Long Term Care Community Coalition, an organization that advocates for nursing home residents in NYS.  


March 06, 2017: “Health Navigator NY”- How do I find the right nursing home?

Health Navigator NY features Cynthia Rudder, PhD, a consultant with the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-term Care, on how to select the right nursing home.

February 2017 Archive

Feb. 27, 2017: “Health Navigator NY”- What is a clinical trial?

We learn about the risks and benefits of clinical trials from David Henderson, MD, the Deputy Director for Clinical Care and Associate Director for Hospital Epidemiology and Quality Improvement at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. 


Feb. 20, 2017: “Health Navigator NY”-Help!  What’s the difference between a Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

We will learn the difference between a Health Savings Account (HSA) and a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). How can you get the most out of each?


Feb. 13, 2017: “Health Navigator NY”- How can I make healthcare more affordable?

On this week’s “Health Navigator NY,” we explore strategies to make your healthcare more affordable. Our guest is Chuck Bell, the Programs Director for the Consumers Union.


Feb. 06, 2017: “Health Navigator NY”- Rural Impact of Possible ACA Repeal

It’s a tough irony to swallow. While Congress has been debating repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, nationally, more people signed up for the healthcare for the exchanges by last month’s deadline than last year. Here in New York, the Health Department is reporting an increase of 28 percent in sign-ups from a year ago. Today on our Health Navigator NY segment, we are going to ask two questions 1) How are hospitals dealing with the uncertainty over the Affordable Care Act? 2) What does this uncertainty mean for consumers, especially consumers in rural counties? Our guest today is Bea Grause, the President of the Healthcare Association of New York State.


January 2017 Archive

Jan. 30, 2017: “Health Navigator NY” – What is Telemedicine?

Health Navigator NY provides an overview of the benefits and limitations of telemedicine, a developing technology that allows remote connections to doctors, particularly through video conferencing.

Our guests are: Carolyn Morris, MHSA, CTPM, Director of Telehealth Planning and Development at the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services; Ingrid A. Pretzer-Aboff, PhD, RN, an Associate Professor at the School of Nursing at the University of Delaware; and then, Charles Rothberg, MD, the President-Elect of the Medical Society of the State of New York.


01-23-2017 : “Health Navigator NY” – Hidden Resources

“Health Navigator NY” explores hidden, reputable resources consumers can use, particularly when it comes to medication questions. Our guest will be N. Lee Rucker, M.S.P.H., a Senior Advisor at the National Council on Patient Information and Education and Founder of Enhance Value Health Policy Consulting.

About | Every Monday for the next six months, WCNY presents “Health Navigator NY,” a new feature of WCNY’s “The Capitol Pressroom” that will help make New Yorkers become savvier healthcare consumers. Host Susan Arbetter will focus on common questions that often have hard to find answer Subscribe to the “Health Navigator NY” podcasts to help you navigate the healthcare system.


01-09-2017 : Health Navigator

Every Monday for the next six months, WCNY presents “Health Navigator NY,” a new feature of WCNY’s “The Capitol Pressroom” that will help make New Yorkers become savvier healthcare consumers. Host Susan Arbetter will focus on common questions that often have hard to find answers including what should you do if your health insurance makes an error but won’t admit it? Can you dispute the bill with a third-party? If so, who do you call? Subscribe to the “Health Navigator NY” podcasts to help you navigate the healthcare system.

View the full online podcast archive here.

Health Navigator NY radio and television content, social media messaging, and this website offers consumers information, resources , and stories of real people actively engaged in their health care.


Health Navigator NY radio and television content, social media messaging, and this website offers consumers information, resources , and stories of real people actively engaged in their health care.

Welcome to Health Navigator NY, a multiplatform project developed by WCNY to help New Yorkers navigate the health care system and engage in the management of their own health care needs. Health Navigator NY radio and television content, social media messaging, and this website offers consumers information, resources , and stories of real people actively engaged in their health care. Consumers may also submit suggestions of topics for Health Navigator NY to explore as well as share their personal stories of success, frustration, and confusion regarding accessing health care services.

Why is becoming a smart health care consumer important? Here are just a few reasons. Health care insurance plans and medical bills are often difficult to decipher, information about physicians challenging to acquire, and a recent study reported the #3 killer of Americans – just behind cardiac disease and cancer – is medical errors. The NYS Department of Health cites one way to combat medical errors is for patients “to be active members of their health care teams.” The health care system is complex, with policies, rules, and regulations frequently changing and patients often unsure of their rights and how to negotiate this ever-changing landscape. And, health care is expensive. A 2015 HealthMine survey revealed that while 86 percent of respondents believe it’s important to compare costs before undergoing medical testing or treatment, 64 percent rarely comparison shop. Knowledge and engagement are keys to becoming savvy health care consumers.

Health Navigator NY is supported by the New York State Health Foundation (NYS Health). The mission of NYS Health is to expand health insurance coverage, increase access to high-quality health care services, and improve public and community health. The views presented here are those of the creators of Health Navigator NY and not necessarily those of the New York State Health Foundation or its directors, officers, and staff.

The New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) is a private, statewide foundation dedicated to improving the health of all new Yorkers, especially the most vulnerable. Today, NYS Health concentrates its work in to two strategic priority areas: building health communities and empowering health care consumers. The Foundation is committed to making grants, informing health policy and practice, spreading effective programs to improve the health care system and the health of New Yorkers, serving as a neutral convener of health leaders across the State, and providing technical assistance to its grantees and partners. For more information about the Foundation’s work in consumer empowerment, including reports, grant descriptions, and other resources, visit http://nyshealthfoundation.org/priority-areas/empowering-health-care-consumers

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Health Navigator NY Resources

In conjunction with the weekly radio broadcasts of Health Navigator NY on The Capitol Pressroom, recommended online resources have been collected to enable further exploration of Health Navigator NY topics. Resources including media articles, reports, studies, and more that provide additional information focused on helping empower healthcare consumers. Resources are organized by topic.

I’m a caregiver – now what?

Resources

Eldercare.gov

Eldercare.gov will help you find your local agency on aging. It has a number of other resources to help you in your work as a caregiver.

Aarp.org/caregiving

The AARP website has tips on caring, as well as a community of support.

Amy Goyer’s Book Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving

https://aging.ny.gov/Caregivers/Index.cfm

This NYS Office for the Aging site offers resources for caregivers, professionals and providers to find information and assistance. This site also states that “in New York State approximately 3 million caregivers provide more than 2.6 billion hours of care to loved ones each year. The economic value of this care is 32 billion dollars.”

How do we know nursing home regulations are working?

Resources:

With nursing homes, there are both federal and state regulations in place. Be sure to check out both when looking at placing a loved one in a home.

  1. You can learn about the federal regulations that are in place for nursing homes. In the link, click on nursing homes. In related links, you can also find out about special focus facilities.
    1. https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/CertificationandComplianc/NHs.html
  2. The regulations on the state level can be found at:
    1. https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/nycrr/title_10/
    2. Search for Section 415
  3. Good monitoring is crucial – do surveyors find the problems? Do they rate them as causing harm or putting residents in immediate jeopardy? Do they rate them as not causing harm? Find out about what surveyors can miss here:
    1. https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/CertificationandComplianc/Downloads/nursinghomedatacompendium_508-2015.pdf

If it becomes law, how will the latest version of healthcare reform affect New York consumers?

Resources:

This public policy blog provides a concise analysis of the impact to New Yorkers of the latest version of the American Health Care Act.

https://www.empirecenter.org/publications/how-ahca-2-0-would-affect-ny/

This article examines the issue of pre-existing conditions coverage in the American Health Care Act. President Trump says that coverage for them will be in the legislation, but there is some question about at what cost?

http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2017/may/01/donald-trump/does-new-version-ahca-still-cover-pre-existing-con/

This NY Times story sheds light on the possible impact of the American Health Care Act to the employer health care system.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/09/upshot/gop-bill-could-affect-employer-health-coverage-too.html

More information about pre-existing condition insurance coverage.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/01/news/economy/obamacare-trump-pre-existing-conditions/

As the Senate begins to change/amend the House version of the AHCA, this link may be helpful:

http://kff.org/interactive/proposals-to-replace-the-affordable-care-act/

How can community schools create better access to healthcare?

How to find a health advocate

How to find a health advocate

Advoconnection.com

The term patient advocate is sometimes defined differently from a health advocate – see the description of a patient advocate and compare it to the health advocate definition in the next link.

http://socalhealthadvocates.com/what-patient-advocate/

This site describes the role of a health advocate.

http://socalhealthadvocates.com/health-advocate-health-advocate-do/

The case for the importance of a health care advocate.

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/caregiver_resources/the-power-of-a-health-care-advocate

This article includes information on not only patient advocates, but medical billing advocates.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/health/managing-medical-bills/patient-advocates-medical-billing-advocates/

How to prepare for a doctor’s appointment

  1. Find checklists on what you need before a doctor’s visit: capitalregionpatientadvocacy.com
  2. Find local healthcare and human services programs.
    1. https://www.nyconnects.ny.gov/
  3. Connect to an advocate
    1. http://nahac.com/
    2. National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants
  4. One question to ask with medication: Can I have a medication reconciliation?

CRPA-_Improving_Your_Healthcare_Experience.pdf

medication_management2.pdf

IPROHospital_Discharge_Planning_Golden_Rules.pdf

What are “Open Notes”?

Resources:  www.opennotes.com

https://learnhealthtech.com/what-is-open-notes/#abh_posts

A quick overview of the use of Open Notes in the healthcare industry.

http://www.rwjf.org/en/how-we-work/grants/grantees/OpenNotes.html

A grant to study the effects of utilizing Open Notes with 1900 patients showed “that when patients have access to their doctors’ notes, they feel more in control of their health care, better understand their medical issues, and report they are more likely to take their medications as prescribed.”

http://www.bidmc.org/Patient-and-Visitor-Information/MyHealthRecords/PatientSite/OpenNotes.aspx

The use of Open Notes at one medical center.

I received a medical bill from the insurance company that’s wrong! What do I do now?

For more information on disputing a claim contact:

 

NY Attorney General’s Health Care Bureau:

https://ag.ny.gov/bureau/health-care-bureau

 

Community Health Advocates:

http://www.communityhealthadvocates.org/

1-888-614-5400

 

New York Department of Financial Services

dfs.ny.gov

Look under Consumers / Health Insurance Resource Center / Protection from Surprise Bills

To get help, go to File a Complaint

You can also call: 

  • Call (212) 480-6400 or toll-free (800) 342-3736 (Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM)

What are Patient & Family Advisory Councils?

Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)     

Working with Patient and Families as Advisors

This is an implementation handbook, a guide for hospitals in work with patients and families.

American Institute for Healthcare (AIR)   

Patients and Family Engagement in Healthcare

This website includes an interesting video re-envisioning the delivery of healthcare to include “meaningful engagement of patients and families in every aspect of health and healthcare.”

Institute for Patient and Family Advisory Councils (IPFCC)

Creating Patient and Family Advisory Councils

This six page document is a how-to guide to create councils including explaining the purpose and benefits of them.

Better Together:  Partnering with Families      

This links to a toolkit for “changing the concept from families as visitors to families as partners.”

 

Beryl Institute

The Beryl Institute is “the global community of practice dedicated to improving the patient experience through collaboration and shared knowledge.” See below for a link to a toolkit with testimonials regarding the creation of a patient and family advisory council.

Patient and Family Advisory Council

 

The Healthcare and Patient Partnership Institute (H2Pi)

The Healthcare and Patient Partnership Institute

This link takes you to the organization’s website.

John Hopkins Hospital

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/the_johns_hopkins_hospital/about/patient_family_advisory_council/

This links to an overview of the hospital’s patient and advisory council and information about the council’s accomplishments.

How do I get an accurate family health history?

How do I pay for nursing home care?

New York State Department of Financial Services Long Term Care Insurance resource page

http://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/ltc/ltc_index.htm

http://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/ltc/ltc_index.htm

Fitch Ratings
1-800-75-FITCH
https://www.fitchratings.com/site/search?content=research&request=Long%20Term%20Care%20Insurance

Moody’s Investor’s Service
1-212-553-0377
www.moodys.com

Standard & Poor’s
1-212-512-3108
www.standardandpoors.com

How do I find the right nursing home?”

  1. Medicare.gov
  2. https://profiles.health.ny.gov/nursing_home/     A NYS webpage that also gives information on nursing homes in the state.  It gives information on: quality of care, quality of life, inspections and complaint information.
  1. https://www.health.ny.gov/facilities/nursing/select_nh/
    • NYS’ consumer guide for selecting a nursing home

Help! What’s the difference between a Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

Health Savings Account resource from the U.S. Treasury

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/faqs/taxes/pages/health-savings-accounts.aspx

 

The HSA Authority

http://www.thehsaauthority.com/hsa_guidelines.aspx

 

About FSAs in New York State

https://www.healthcare.gov/have-job-based-coverage/flexible-spending-accounts/

What can I use my HSA for?

Medical and Dental Expenses (Including the Health Coverage Tax Credit)

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf

More information on Flexible Spending Accounts

http://www.mvphealthcare.com Search for Ancillary funding or spending accounts

How can I make healthcare more affordable?

How to get health insurance help in New York: A quick resource from Consumer Reports

Health Cost Estimator

About half the insurance companies in New York do not currently offer health estimator tools. If you need quick help finding a health cost-estimator, especially if your insurance company does not have one, check these out:

  1. Amino: “Choose Care with Confidence”
    1. https://amino.com/
  2. Guroo: “Get insight into health insurance cars in your areas”
    1. https://www.guroo.com/#!
  3. MDsave: “Don’t wait for someone to fix healthcare, do it yourself.”
    1. https://www.mdsave.com/
  4. Healthcare Bluebook: “Never overpay for healthcare again”
    1. https://healthcarebluebook.com/
  5. FAIR Health: “Know your source”
    1. http://www.fairhealth.org/

Search Drug Prices:

The New York State Board of Pharmacy publishes an annual list of the 150 most frequently prescribed drugs, in the most common quantities. The New York State Department of Health collects retail price information on these drugs from pharmacies that participate in the Medicaid program and from pharmacies that submit their retail price information directly to the Department of Health. This site allows you to search for specific drugs from the most frequently prescribed drug list.

https://apps.health.ny.gov/pdpw/SearchDrugs/Home.action

Other resources for download:

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Rural Impact of Possible ACA Repeal

If the ACA is repealed, rural hospitals will face serious financial challenges that could affect access and the communities, including possible loss of jobs. .

http://medcitynews.com/2017/01/aca-repeal-rural-hospitals/

During this week’s Health Navigator NY, we discuss calling your Congressional Representative with questions. Find out who your representative here.

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

This NPR health issues report outlines some concerns about the effects on hospitals if the ACA is repealed. It draws on comments from two hospitals and a Kaiser Foundation report.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/01/27/511753125/hospitals-worry-repeal-of-obamacare-would-jeopardize-innovations-in-care

This article explores how the ACA affected rural hospitals including some negative impacts, and what might happen in rural America if it is repealed.

http://www.npr.org/2017/01/14/509807198/what-an-obamacare-repeal-would-mean-for-rural-hospitals

Times are already tough for rural hospitals – a look at what some of the challenges are.

http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/the-rural-hospital-closure-crisis-15-key-findings-and-trends.html

A look at the possible impact on older adults if the ACA is repealed.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/01/28/511994587/obamacare-repeal-could-threaten-provisions-that-help-older-adults?utm_campaign=KHN%3A+First+Edition&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=41559125&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9CjtRsPSg8jivTtxtbRU8

According to this article, Republican proposals to replace the ACA don’t remove Medicare reforms instituted under President Obama.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2017/01/29/as-gop-backs-off-full-aca-repeal-obamas-medicare-reforms-stand/#77b18bf14eab

It’s wait and see time for some rural communities and their hospitals who didn’t appear to benefit as much as anticipated by the ACA but wonder what is in store for them in the future.

http://www.newsweek.com/obamacare-repeal-threatens-rural-hospitals-and-trump-voters-who-depend-them-538627

This is the link to HANYS, the only statewide hospital and continuing care association in New York, representing 500 not-for-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare organizations.

https://www.hanys.org/about/

What is Telemedicine?

PBS NewsHour eight-minute piece on uses of telemedicine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1-MFo7_n-Y

This Forbes piece offers a quick overview of the use of technology to provide telemedicine services to patients. It also outlines what technology doctors need to participate as telemedicine providers.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/centurylink/2017/01/20/is-2017-the-year-of-telemedicine/#a93055e72884

Information about the University of Delaware’s new telehealth certificate coordinator program

http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2016/august/telehealth-certificate-coordinator-program/

Telehealth has great potential to increase access to and quality of healthcare in rural communities. Technology can now allow rural patients to see specialists without leaving their communities, permits local providers to take advantage of distant expertise, and improves timeliness of care.

https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/topics/telehealth

Telemedicine: It’s a no brainer, is an animated 2012 consumer awareness video winner.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6AT1FLM8yk

Using Health Care Navigation Tools and Consumer Empowerment

The post below cites the need for better tools for consumers to be able to find and compare prices and quality among health care providers to aid in decision-making.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/is-there-a-bed-bath-beyond-for-health-care_us_5878f306e4b03e071c14fc56?utm_source=Sandman+HuffPo+Jan+2017&utm_campaign=Sandman+HuffPo+Jan+2017&utm_medium=email

Consumer Reports recently examined website tools for use in evaluating health care cost and quality from 11 health insurance companies that do business in New York as well as five websites open to all. They then rated the sites on a number of categories. One thing was clear – all of them did have some level of useful information.

http://www.consumerreports.org/health-insurance/health-insurance-help-in-new-york/

The Health Care Transformation Task Force describes itself as “an industry consortium that brings together patients, payers, providers, and purchasers to align private and public sector efforts to clear the way for a sweeping transformation of the U.S. health care system. The Task Force believes the interests of consumers/patients must be considered during all aspects of health care delivery transformation.” Its August, 2016 22-pagewhite paper provides “a set of questions to facilitate consideration of consumer priorities in the development of person-centered, value-based care policies and practices for improving U.S. health care.”

http://static1.squarespace.com/static/548b623fe4b0991231a05ff0/t/57ab68e98419c2acafa34a5e/1470851306250/HCTTF_Addressing+Consumer+Priorities+in+Value-Based+Care+White+Paper__FINALPDF++FOR+DISTRIBUTION.pdf

Even when price comparison tools exist, consumers don’t necessarily “shop around” for their health care needs. This article tries to explain why.

http://www.chcf.org/articles/2016/03/why-dont-patient-price-shop

A study done by Harvard and USC showed that not even high deductibles motivate health care consumers to seriously shop-around for health care.

http://www.scpr.org/blogs/health/2016/01/19/18104/high-deductibles-don-t-make-people-shop-for-health/

Lesser Known Resources to Address Medication-Related Questions

A site sponsored by health system pharmacists that provides medication information.

Safemedication.com

One-stop shopping for information on health, wellness, and disorders as well as prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, herbs, and supplements.

https://medlineplus.gov/

The National Council on Patient Information and Education’s site dedicated to advancing the safe, appropriate use of medicines through communication of information to consumers and health care professionals.

http://www.talkaboutrx.org/

A new resource in Albany for medication review involves a clinical pharmacist helping meet the needs of those with chronic diseases.

http://www.acphs.edu/press-releases/acphs-mvp-and-capital-care-collaborate-patient-care-initiative

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