Illustration: Istvan Banyai
For better care, take these tips from the pros.
When reviewing treatment options with your doctor:
"Showing up with a stack of computer printouts can imply that you think your research equals her years of experience. Instead, study information online, then say, 'I've seen articles about a new type of treatment; what do you know about it?'"
— Trisha Torrey, patient advocacy expert
When dealing with your insurance company:
"Anytime you're on the phone with your insurer, take notes: the date, what you asked, what they answered. If you need to appeal a claim denial, it helps to have a paper trail."
— Kevin Lembo, healthcare advocate for the State of Connecticut
When you've just been diagnosed:
"Disease advocacy groups can offer educational seminars, summaries of clinical trial results, emotional support, and more. To find one, google 'advocacy' and the name of your disease."
— Ken Schueler, director of HKS Patient Advocates, New York City
More Advice for Better Healthcare:
From the August 2010 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
We Hear You!