Healthcare Articles

Tips to find a new doctor

It helps to turn to friends and Internet sources when searching for a new primary care physician. But it’s also important to ask a new doctor questions about his or her approach to care, how long it takes to get an appointment, and how to contact the doctor after hours. A prospective patient should note if it feels comfortable speaking with the doctor and if the doctor is answering questions clearly. If the doctor doesn’t seem to be a good match, one should keep looking. (Locked) More »

Easy ways to spot health scams

Untested remedies promising to treat or cure everything from arthritis to aging are considered health scams. Older adults are often vulnerable to them. Common scams include bogus dietary supplements and gadgets that promise to cure disease. The first tip-off to a health scam is advertising that uses terms such as quick fix, miracle, secret, cure, and breakthrough—or that promises to relieve medical problems. Before trying one of these products, one should check make sure it’s safe by checking with a doctor. (Locked) More »

Should you have an annual pelvic exam?

Expert groups disagree over the value of an annual pelvic exam for healthy women without symptoms of pelvic diseases. Women should discuss the potential risks and benefits as well as their personal preferences with their doctors. (Locked) More »

Stay healthy at the hospital

: Whether people go in for surgery, testing, or an outpatient procedure, a hospital stay can pose further health risks. While potential risks depend in part on why someone has to go into the hospital and the facility itself, there are steps a person can take to minimize risk, especially when it comes to developing hospital-acquired infections that can lead to a longer hospital stay or readmission. (Locked) More »

Easier access to hearing aids

The FDA announced in December 2016 that it would no longer enforce the requirement that adults receive a medical evaluation or sign a waiver prior to purchasing most hearing aids. More »

Online hospital ratings: Are they helpful?

Online hospital reviews can provide helpful information. But the information they provide is sometimes incomplete, conflicting, or confusing. People should review several different online sites and recognize that there is no clear definition of what constitutes ideal hospital care. Hospital rating sites may be most useful in unusual situations in which people are unfamiliar with the available options—for example, if they have recently moved, are traveling, or are advising a loved one from afar. Otherwise, a recommendation from a trusted physician should suffice.  (Locked) More »

What clinical trials can do for you

Participating in an observational study or a controlled clinical trial may involve a time commitment and some risks. However, doing so may provide health benefit and contribute to medical knowledge.  (Locked) More »

How to trim your medication costs

People may be able to save on prescription costs by choosing generic drugs or in some cases, splitting pills. They can also find out if they could substitute a less expensive brand-name drug in the same medication family. Consumers should also review all their medications with their physician to make sure they aren’t taking any unneeded drugs. Finally, they should compare prices at different pharmacies, as retail drug prices vary a lot from store to store.  (Locked) More »

Planning ahead for your future medical care

Although heart disease is the most common cause of death, improved therapies have greatly extended the lives of people who then may develop heart failure. And many people with heart failure survive into old age and end up dying of something else—an example of the uncertainty all people live with. People who want to ensure they receive the type of end-of-life care they would like should choose a health care proxy—a person who can speak on their behalf if they cannot. A health decision worksheet, which asks questions about values and wishes about end-of-life care, can help facilitate the conversation.  More »