healthcare documents
Mar 17 2020

Protect yourself against electronic health record-related medical errors

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

A carefully reviewed, comprehensive electronic health record can save lives and reduce the risk of medical errors and inappropriate treatment and duplicate diagnostic testing. For example, if you are unconscious and unable to answer questions about your medical history and medications, an electronic record can provide the answers you’re unable to so physicians can quickly... Read More

virtual consultations
Mar 10 2020

Virtual consultations expand your access to expert specialists

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Virtual access to physicians isn’t new. Patients have benefited from virtual second opinions for years and more recently, have been able to quickly and conveniently connect with physicians through computer and smartphone apps that put them in touch with primary care physicians, pediatricians, and mental health providers. What is new is virtual access to a... Read More

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Mar 3 2020

How to encourage aging parents to accept help they need

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn, MD

The first signs are often subtle—missed appointments, unpaid bills, or a once immaculate home that now has an unmowed lawn and dirty dishes on the counter. It’s easy for adult children of aging parents to miss these first signs that their parents need help with tasks they once handled easily on their own. In fact,... Read More

medication errors
Feb 25 2020

Take these steps to lower the risk of medication errors

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Incorrectly filled prescriptions occur more often than most people know and the effects of these medication errors can have a significant impact on your health. According to one paper on the impact of medication errors, preventable medication errors affect more than 7 million Americans and cost nearly $21 billion each year. Health problems caused by... Read More

genetic testing
Feb 18 2020

Why affluent families may want to reconsider direct-to-consumer genetic testing

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Ads suggest they make great Father’s Day or holiday gifts. Around 30 million people have tried them and that number is projected to grow to 100 million next year. Direct-to-consumer genetic tests that provide information about your ancestry and risk of developing certain health problems are undeniably popular, but people from affluent families may want... Read More

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Feb 11 2020

How to negotiate lower costs for out-of-network care

Health finance  •  By Miles Varn, MD

While seeking care within your health insurer’s provider network costs less, there are situations when you may decide to seek care outside of the network. For example, if you’re diagnosed with a serious, rare, or complex condition, the physicians and hospitals that have the most experience treating your condition and the best outcomes may not... Read More

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urgent care
Feb 4 2020

Primary care, urgent care, telemedicine, or the ER?

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Not that many years ago, when you were sick or injured, you had two choices—make an appointment to see your doctor or go to the emergency room. But there are more ways to seek care now and it can sometimes be confusing knowing which provider is the most appropriate one. Of course, if you’re facing... Read More

older patients
Jan 28 2020

Why surgery may not be the right choice for some older patients

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Although some surgeries are generally considered minor procedures for people in good health, they may pose greater to risk to older people whose condition is more frail. A recent study published in JAMA Surgery found that older patients who were frail were at a higher risk of dying after any type of surgery, whether it... Read More

large medical bills
Jan 21 2020

Facing large medical bills? How to ask for a payment plan

Health finance  •  By Miles Varn, MD

There are many reasons you could end up with large medical bills that strain your budget. If you have a high deductible health plan, you could be required to pay several thousand dollars out of pocket before your health insurance starts to cover the cost of your care. If you go outside your health plan’s... Read More

home safer
Jan 14 2020

Tips to help you make your home safer as you get older

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn, MD

A report from researchers at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University projects that by 2035, one in three households in the U.S. will be headed by someone who is 65 or older and many of these people plan to age in place, staying in their homes as they get older. While there... Read More