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Health & Medical
Doctors & Healthcare  (Includes Free or Low Cost Help)
Medical Bills
Medicine & Treatments
Insurance & Benefits (Includes Medicaid & SSI)
Medical Directives/Living Wills


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Doctors & Health Care

Doctors Managed Care (HMOs, Hospitals, etc.)
Medical Bills Rules, Regulations & Complaints


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See also

Help To Pay Your Medical Bills (Consumer-SOS)
Find the government, non profit groups and foundations that help people with paying their medical bills.  Some of these are earmarked for specific conditions such as cancer or kidney problems, others just help anyone who financially qualifies.

Free or Low Cost Health Clinics (Consumer-SOS)

Free Or Low Cost OTC or Prescription Drugs (Consumer-SOS)

Free or Low Cost Help For The Uninsured (Consumer-SOS)

Medical Billing Advocates To Help Cut Down Healthcare Costs (Consumer-SOS)

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Managed Care (HMOs, PPOs, etc.)
Choosing A Health Plan

Getting Top Care/Complaints

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Choosing A Health Plan
There are many things to consider when choosing a health plan.  Some of these include, the plan's comprehensiveness, i.e. what the plan covers, the cost of this coverage, the limits on your choice of doctors or hospitals and the complaint record of each provider.

FAQs, Tips & Advice
Profiles For Health Plans, Doctors & Hospitals

Referral Agencies
 
 

FAQs, Tips & Advice

Choosing Quality Medical Care (Tips)

The Ten Commandments for HMOs 
A list of questions consumers should ask when choosing a HMOs. 

How To Choose A Health Plan (Summary with lots of other links.)

Choosing An HMO (BBB)


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Health Plan, Doctor & Hospital Profiles

www.healthgrades.com
Free profiles on 600,000 doctors, 5,000 hospitals, 400 health plans, 17,000 nursing homes and more.  Learn about the doctor's  specialties, years in practice, instances of misconduct, and ratings by their patients.

Hospitals-The Top Ones In Each State (U.S. News & World Report)
Once you've found the best Hospitals in your state for your condition, choose a plan with doctors who have privileges to work in these hospitals.

American Hospital Directory
The site will provide a detailed report on the hospital's characteristics, financial reports, costs, and specialties. This directory can be searched by hospital name, city, state, area code and zip code. Click on the icon for "free services", and to gain entry to the sections accept the liability statement. 

United Way Help Line 
(For All 50 States, DC & Puerto Rico)
Choose your state, select your city, and look up help agencies galore!!! Their stellar search engine can lead you to any social service topic you can think of.  Just type in the words "Health" and either "Managed Care" or "HMO".

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Referral Agencies

Contacts On Medicaid, Children's Health & Managed Care
For state-by-state- information on the above, select your state from their drop box and hit "GO".

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Getting Top Care/Complaints
FAQs, Tips & Advice
Where To Get Help
(Patient Advocates)
 

FAQs, Tips & Advice

10 Ways To Avoid Outrageous Hospital Overcharges
Profit-hungry hospitals are overcharging consumers an estimated
$10 billion a year. Some deliberately work to keep bills indecipherable.
Here's how to fight back.

Making Healthcare Agencies Publicly Accountable
Articles and links on how to make your healthcare agency accountable and where you to get help when they won't cooperate. 

Health Care Quality-Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Fighting Insurance Companies When They Deny Your Claim

How to protect yourself, establish contacts, gather allies and write your appeals and grievance letters.

How To Avoid A Health Insurance  Claim denial—And What To Do When You Can't
Tips, advice and appeals form letters.

Informal Guide To Appealing Health Insurance Claims
Advice from a regular guy who took on his HMO and won.

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Where To Get Help (Advocates)

Can't Pay Your Medical Bills Or Need Low Cost Insurance?  (Consumer-SOS)  

Regulators Governing Health & Ins. Plans (All 50 States & DC)
For Both Managed Care Plans and Fee For Service Plans.

Keeping Your Medical Records Private
Know what protections and rights you have and what you can do if you believe they have been violated.

Rules, Regulations & Complaints (Consumer-SOS)

Patient Advocacy Links
Scroll down the page for organizations that can help you in your battle against your provider.

Find Your Local Newspaper, Magazine, Radio & TV Stations
Give them a little bad press and you're bargaining power increases tremendously. Select Texas, and then click on your county or city for the proper media to report to. (DC Not Included).

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Doctors
Finding & Choosing
Talking To Your Doctor
Complaints

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Finding & Choosing
FAQs Tips & Advice
Finding By Specialty
Doctor Profiles & Credentials

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FAQs Tips & Advice

Choosing A Doctor (General Tips)
For a checklist of what to consider, click Here

Other Helpful Links (Consumer-SOS)
Relating to help for the poor, doctor accountability and patient education.

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Finding By Specialty

Certified Doctor Locator Service (All 50 States & DC)
To locate a board certified physician by geographic area and specialty.

AMA Physician Select
Look up physicians by name or by state and medical specialty to find their address, educational background, gender, and
specialty.

www.bestdoctors.com

Boasts a database supposedly made up of 30,000 of America's top-rated doctors.

Find A Doctor
(National)
Search by name, Zip code or metropolitan area.

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Doctor Profiles & Credentials

www.healthgrades.com
Free profiles on 600,000 doctors, 5,000 hospitals, 400 health plans, 17,000 nursing homes and more.  Learn about the doctor's  specialties, years in practice, instances of misconduct, and ratings by their patients.

Verifying If A Doctor's Been Disciplined (Consumer-SOS)
Check your state's medical licensing board to see if your doctor has been disciplined. This is also where you can file complaints.

Profiles For Health Plans, Doctors & Hospitals (Consumer-SOS)
Having good doctors is not enough. To have access to the latest equipment, make sure they have privileges to work in the best hospitals.

The American Board Of Medical Specialties (ABMS)
Find out about your doctor's credentials. Also get details on who treats what and learn if the doctor has been disciplined. To see if your doctor has lost any malpractice suits, check the local courts.

Other Helpful Links (Consumer-SOS)
Help for those with low incomes, doctor accountability and patient education.

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Talking To Your Doctor

What To Ask & Tell Your Doctor (Consumer-SOS)
Basics on preparing for your meeting, writing things down and getting feedback from your doctor.

Talking With Your Doctor
Geared for seniors or the terminally ill, the site tells you the basics on how to make the most of your visit.

What To Ask Your Doctor Before Office Surgery

Getting Top Care From Your Doctor
What to ask about your condition, treatments, tests and more.

Making The Most Of Your Medical Visit


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What To Ask & Tell Your Doctor

To get the most from a short visit with your doctor, it helps to prepare for the dialogue.  

Before Your Appointment.

·         Write down all the questions you want to ask.  Pick the three you think are most important to you.

·         Bring a list of all your medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.  Bring in any herbs or
 supplements that you take.

If you are feeling sick or too scared, bring a friend or relative who can help take notes and ask questions for you.  

At The Start Of The Visit.

·         Ask your doctor how much time you have together.

·         Explain what you have already done to get better.

·         Mention the top three "must discuss" items on your list.

  During The Visit, Ask:

·        What does the doctor think happened to you, and why?

·        What do you need to do now?

·        What will the doctor do for you?

·        Will it hurt, and, if so, for how long?

·        When will you and the doctor know more about how you are doing?

Discuss A Plan.

·        Ask the doctor to write down the treatment choices for your illness, and the pros and cons for each choice.

·        If you don't understand what the doctor is suggesting, ask him or her to use different words that you do understand.

·        Agree on a plan of action with your doctor.  And then write the plan down.

·        Ask who-and when-you can call with more questions.

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What To Ask About Medications

My Medicines (What To Ask)
Tips on how to read the label, avoid problems, ask questions and keep a record.

Other Questions

·        What are the brand and generic names?  

·       Do You Have Any Trial Samples (Saves You $)

·        Is there a less expensive drug?

·        Which symptoms will it treat?

·        How long will I have to take it?

·        At what time of day?

·        What happens if I miss a dose?

·        Can I eat anything I want? Do I take it with food?

·        Are there side effects.

·        Should I avoid certain things like alcohol, smoking or sun exposure. (may cause problems
 with certain antibiotics).

·        Will I need to refill the prescription?

·        When Should I be feeling better?

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Medical Bills

To Reduce Current and Future Medical Bills, use these resources to:

  • Find Low Cost Clinics or Low Cost Drugs & Needed Treatment
  • Dispute Billing Overcharges
  • Fight Insurance Companies that Deny Your Claims
  • Negotiate Amount of Your Medical Bills
  • Find Help To Pay Your Bills (Grants, Charities, Gov Assistance...)

Help To Pay Your Medical Bills (Consumer-SOS)
Find the government, non profit groups and foundations that help people with paying their medical bills.  Some of these are earmarked for specific conditions such as cancer or kidney problems, others just help anyone who financially qualifies.

Free or Low Cost Health Clinics (Consumer-SOS)

Free Or Low Cost OTC or Prescription Drugs (Consumer-SOS)

Free or Low Cost Help For The Uninsured (Consumer-SOS)

Medical Billing Advocates To Help Cut Down Healthcare Costs (Consumer-SOS)

Fighting Insurance Companies When They Deny Your Claim
How to protect yourself, establish contacts, gather allies and write your appeals and grievance letters.

10 Ways To Avoid Outrageous Hospital Overcharges
Profit-hungry hospitals are overcharging consumers an estimated
$10 billion a year. Some deliberately work to keep bills indecipherable.
Here's how to fight back.

Patient Advocacy Links (Google Search)

United Way Help Line  (For All 50 States, DC & Puerto Rico)
Call 211 for a live person to help you find help groups.  Or choose your state, select your city, and use their search engine for any social service topic you can think of.  For example: Just type in the words "medical bills" and "assistance".

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Help To Pay Your Medical Bills (Consumer-SOS)
If an organization can't help you, don't get off the phone until you've asked them:
DO YOU KNOW OF OTHER GROUPS THAT CAN? Also ask, If you were in my situation, what would you do? Who would you call? What should i do next?

A Guide To Finding Medical Bill Assistance
Reduce your medical bills through various ways such as crowdfunding, government assistance, special loans, medical bill advocates and lawyers.

NeedHelpPayingmyBills (State By State Assistance) 
To help pay medical bills, taxes, rent and mortgage help, etc.

Patient Advocacy Foundation
Select your medical problem, the state you live in, and up to 4 types of Assistance Needed (Can select up to four services at a time). Press control to select multiple resources. Shows public and non profit groups that can help the uninsured patient navigate their access to healthcare, deal with the financial cost of treatment, gather options for future health insurance coverage and work to effectively manage and decrease costs while seeking medical care. They are dedicated to helping patients with chronic, debilitating or life-threatening illnesses.

Financial Aid Fund Division-Patient Advocate Foundation (855) 824-7941 (Toll-Free)
This independent division of Patient Advocate Foundation provides small grants to patients who meet financial and medical criteria. Grants are provided on first-come first served basis and are distributed until funds are depleted. Qualifications and processes for each fund may differ based on fund requirements. Patients who are interested in applying for financial assistance should start by calling this division toll free at (855) 824-7941. The small grant programs under the Financial Aid Fund division are not part of PAF’s Co-Pay Relief assistance program and operate independently from other case management services.

Obesity-The National Obesity Foundation
People meeting the financial need and medical requirements can apply for assistance of up to $2,000 towards medical expenses such as insurance deductibles or partial payment for approved surgeries and other medical treatment. Financial Assistance may also be available in the form of discounts on treatment costs from NOF-accredited physicians around the country. Contact: financialassistance@nofusa.org

Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America 415-234-9074
Steps to qualify for a grant for weight loss surgery. May not even require you have insurance.

Cancer Bills
A list of the various funds foundations and grants to help pay cancer bills.

Patient Advocate Foundation Co-Pay Relief  (866) 512-3861
Helps with medical bills incurred from chronic pain, various types of cancer, osteoporosis, hepatitis and other medical conditions.   

Good Days from CDF (877) 968-7233 (Formerly The Chronic Disease Fund)
Currently supports patients with more than two dozen different diseases, including many types of cancer (breast, colorectal, lung cancer, and multiple myeloma), multiple sclerosis, asthma, and macular degeneration, to name a few.  They can assist patients across the United States with either private or public insurance who financially qualify but cannot afford the cost of their specialty therapeutics.

Healthwell Foundation (800) 675-8416
Assists patients living with chronic and life-altering illnesses in paying their share of prescription drug copayments, deductibles, and health insurance premiums.

Patents Access Network Foundation 1-866-316-7263
Aids, some Arthritis, Asthma, Acromegaly, Cancer, Crohn's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Macular Diseases, to name a few.

Kidney Cancer Association-Financial Assistance

Links To Other Co-Payment Assistance Organizations

Medical Bills Foundations (Google Search)
For specific programs you can add in your state, i.e. New York

GuideStar Medical Assistance

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Medical Billing Advocates
Billing advocates negotiate with healthcare providers and insurance companies to lower your medical bills, or increase what they'll pay for your expenses. Savings can be in the thousands of dollars. Some charge by the hour, others bill based on what they saved you in costs. Some may even be free.

The Patient Advocate Foundation
Negotiates medical bills and insurance for those with chronic, debilitating and life-threatening conditions.

Medical Billing Advocates of America
Online directory of more than 30 services around the country that specialize in individual cases. Has patient guide for detecting overcharges, billing errors and insurance underpayments.

For more help Google Medical Billing Advocates (and the name of your state or city).

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Medical Rules, Regulations & Complaints

Summary Of Medical Malpractice Laws
(DC & All 50 States)
Excellent!!!

Keeping Your Medical Records Private
Know what protections and rights you have and what you can do if you believe they have been violated.

Complaints Against Doctors, Health Plans, Insurers & More (Consumer-SOS)


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Complaints

Complaints Against Your Doctor  (Consumer-SOS)
May include nurses and other healthcare workers too.

Complaints Against Your Health Plan  (Consumer-SOS)
Takes you to Getting Top Care/Complaints.

Insurance Related Complaints (Consumer-SOS)
Takes you to Consumer-SOS/Insurance for where to complaint to, insurance regulators and where to get help for almost every insurance issue.

Report Adverse Reactions & Medical Product Problems To the FDA
                                       
Find Your Local Newspaper, Magazine, Radio & TV Stations
Give them a little bad press and you're bargaining power increases tremendously. Select Texas, and then click on your county or city for the proper media to report to. (DC Not Included).

Patient Advocacy Links (Google Search)

Where Else To Go For Help (Consumer-SOS)

For More See Occupational Licensing Boards

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Complaints Against Your Doctor

Medical Licensing Boards  (Consumer-SOS)
Check the medical licensing boards in your state to learn if your doctor has been disciplined, or what rules he must abide by. You can also lodge a complaint against the doctor yourself.

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Health and Medical