Questions We Can Answer
We know a lot. But we aren't doctors.
This document is not written for Concierge clients.
The advice we give is designed to help you make the healthcare system work as it should. We help decrease confusion, financial risk and time between appointments. We also help increase safety and help the medical staff give you more efficient care.
We can answer questions such as:
The biopsy has been done and we meet with the doc next week. If it’s cancer, what should our questions be? If it’s not cancer, what should our questions be?
The doctor has given us a few treatment options. What steps should we take to make the best decision possible?
It seems as if there are errors in my medical record, because my doctors keep mentioning things that aren’t true about my history. How do we get those fixed?
We want to get a second opinion. What are some good steps to take to find a good doctor?
We received a second opinion and it’s quite different than the first. What should we do now?
My insurance says they’ll cover this surgery/treatment/hospital stay. But the approval letter they sent clearly states that the approval is subject to change. And I keep reading about these retroactive denials. What should I do?
We are entering hospice and need to manage my Dad’s end of life wishes. How do we do that?
How do we know if the recommended treatment is backed by good evidence?
I don’t understand my medical bill and don’t know if it’s the right amount. How would you ensure that it’s correct?
We need to research clinical trials. Can you point us in the right direction and tell us how you would do it?
My Mom is in remission but needs extra help—possibly permanently. What are some important questions to ask a long-term care facility director?
I have a rare cancer and don’t know how to find a doctor who really knows it well. Can you guide us in how you would perform that search?
Independent patient advocates cannot give medical advice, even if they are licensed doctors or nurses.
Here are some of the ways we help with questions that we cannot answer:
My oncologist said that we can do chemo or radiation. What should we do? (We will walk you through the decision-making process but will never make a decision for you).
I’m sending you a picture of a large mole. Can you tell me what it is and what to do about it? (We simply can’t answer this. But we can tell you what type of doctor to see and give some guidance on how to wisely move through a diagnostic phase, pointing out some potential pitfalls you may experience).
Do you think that treatment regimen X is better than treatment regimen Y? (We will never recommend a treatment. We are, however, very good at guiding you through a decision-making process that reflects your treatment goals. We're also capable of sharing objective resources that may help you in your decision. In some cases, treatment X may be an established “gold standard,” so we will help you discuss with the doctor why treatment Y was even recommended).
Do you recommend using any alternative or naturopathic treatments? (Again, we won’t recommend any treatment, but will teach you how to approach these alternative treatments with your physician).