Healthcare Articles

The doctor will see you now, in your home

Home-based medical care enables older adults to receive regular medical care—from doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, or other providers—right in their own homes. These house calls are typically covered by insurance, as long as the health care provider certifies that the visit is medically necessary and that the patient has a condition that restricts the ability to leave home. The benefits go beyond getting necessary medical care. Home visits help foster the provider-patient relationship, and they give providers a better understanding of a person’s daily health challenges. (Locked) More »

What to do if your medication is recalled

When a medication is recalled, caution is a must. It might be okay to stop taking a recalled medication if it’s an over-the-counter drug such as an allergy, headache, cold, or sleep remedy that’s meant only to relieve occasional symptoms. But one should speak with a pharmacist or doctor before stopping a prescription medication. The pharmacy may be able to get the same medication from a different drug company. If there are no other manufacturers available, either the patient or pharmacy can contact the doctor to switch to another medication. (Locked) More »

Tips for success when your kids are on your health care team

Having adult children help with their parents’ health care can be tricky. There’s a tendency for roles to reverse, with the child acting as a parent. Or the parent doesn’t want to burden the child, and lets health issues go until they’re too far gone. To make the arrangement a successful one, it helps to talk openly about necessary time commitments; decide in advance how much health information the adult child can access; and determine how much input the adult child will have in the treatment plan. (Locked) More »

7 reasons why you may need a medication check-up

It’s important to have a doctor look over one’s medication regimen frequently. This is because things can change in between doctor visits, and adjustments may need to be made. Reasons why that might occur include taking a lot of pills, which can increase the risk of error or adverse drug interactions; taking over-the-counter medications without a doctor’s supervision; or experiencing medication side effects. One should also see a primary care doctor two weeks after discharge from a hospital, to see how any new medications are working. (Locked) More »

A new approach to cancer diagnosis

Tissue biopsies are the standard test for identifying cancer, but another approach, called a liquid biopsy, may provide a diagnosis when a traditional biopsy doesn’t. It uses a person’s blood to detect cancer and can help determine the right therapy. More »

Digital health tracking: Preventive care or privacy invasion?

Increasing numbers of wireless digital sensors—some implanted in or on the body and some worn like clothing­—are being used to monitor people’s health. There are even digital medications embedded with sensors that can record when pills are ingested. The advances in technology may help diagnose health conditions and prevent emergencies. But there are many concerns about digital monitors and pills, such as privacy, communications failures, and data interpretation. (Locked) More »

Insider tips to maximize your doctor visit

The average length of a doctor visit ranges from 10 to 20 minutes. There are ways to maximize every moment. For example, it helps to prepare and prioritize questions for the doctor in advance, and tell the doctor as soon as possible that there are questions that need to be answered before the end of the visit. When the doctor asks about the reason for the visit, one should give a brief summary. (Locked) More »

Are you prepared for a medical emergency?

To prepare for a medical emergency, it is helpful to have quick access to important information. This includes one’s advance directive, as well lists of all medications and supplements, emergency contacts, and health care providers. This information can be contained on a flash drive or put in a bag that’s kept in a handy place in the house. It’s also important to talk to a loved one in advance about how you’d like to be taken care of in a medical emergency. (Locked) More »