Being a Patient Advocate: A Guide for Minority Families

If your loved one has a complex or chronic disease, finding your way through the health care maze can be a daunting task. And if you are a member of a racial or ethnic minority, this can be even harder. Minorities often suffer and die from disease at higher rates than non-Hispanic whites.

There are three main points that the health care system fails people of color–access to care, quality of care, and effectiveness of treatments. Patient advocates can help address several of these.

Access

Access is perhaps the largest problem–minorities are more likely to be uninsured or underinsured than whites. Fortunately, this is the best recognized issue, and there are often community resources to help. Your local department of social services, health care clinic, or hospital should be able to provide information on what is available. Sometimes, it is possible to find doctors who will reduce their fees for those with difficulty paying.

Be aware that many doctors forget to consider the patient’s financial situation when prescribing. Ask if generics are available, or whether medications are covered under one of your local pharmacy’s lower price deals.

Quality of Care

Quality of care is a trickier problem. Studies have shown that minorities are less likely to get the interventions they need. For example, a minority patient is less likely to receive adequate medication for pain than a white patient. The reasons for this depend on multiple factors, including provider bias and cultural differences. For instance, with pain, some groups may tend to under-report pain or to describe pain in non-specific ways, or providers may be reluctant to prescribe opiates.

Advocates push the odds more toward the minority patient’s favor by participating in the decision-making process. If the doctor doesn’t seem to understand that your loved one is hurting, you can clearly communicate this information and push for solutions.

You don’t have to be a doctor to be an advocate. Here are some strategies you can use to get your loved one the best possible care

  • Identify the gatekeepers. Every health care organization has people who control access to providers. Generally, these people are the people you will have the most contact with-your loved one’s nurses in a doctor’s office or hospital, or nursing assistants in a long-term care facility. Be aware of shift changes.
  • Cultivate relationships with staff
  • Ask questions and keep asking until you understand your loved one’s diagnosis, prognosis, treatment options, and care routine. Ask about how the patient’s medications work and any side effects. You should also ask about possible drug interactions, as this is a common mistake doctors make, especially when there are multiple providers writing prescriptions.
  • Educate yourself about your loved one’s condition. If you need help in finding resources, ask.
  • Once you have all agreed on a treatment plan, make sure your loved one is receiving the care ordered.
  • Trust your intuition. If something seems wrong, it may well be. If you are not satisfied, get a second opinion.
  • Learn who to talk to and how to contact them in case of problems.

Effectiveness of Treatments

Sometimes, your loved one may be receiving standard treatment, but it may not be working well. There can be many reasons for this, most of them having to do with the severity of the disease and other illnesses your loved one may have at the same time. If your loved one has both diabetes and heart disease, treatment for one can be complicated by the other. However, research also shows that in some instances medications may affect people differently depending on genetic background (which race can provide some clues to).

For example, gefitinib is a drug that works better than other medications for certain types of cancer in most people with Japanese heritage. It has the same effect on American patients (of all backgrounds) with a specific genetic mutation, but may not work as well as other treatments for the majority of the US population.

Psychoactive drugs are particularly sensitive to genetic differences. African Americans and Native Americans may experience more side effects–and the drugs may not work as well–with these medications than other populations.

If you feel that the medications your loved one has been given are not working, or if the side effects are intolerable, ask your doctor if more appropriate drugs are available.

You’re the Expert

Though doctors and nurses may have specialized knowledge about disease, you are the expert on your loved one. And you can make a big difference in their care.

Best Convertible Car Seat – Britax Advocate 65 CS Convertible Car Seat

Are you looking for the best convertible car seat for your child? In this article I will share with you some valuable information about Britax Advocate 65 CS Convertible Car Seat.

When my son was ready to move out of his starter seat into something bigger, I decide to buy the best convertible car seat for him. I also wanted the top rated in safety that I could get. I was confident of this product from the rave reviews I read at Amazon.

Do you know how deadly effects of side impact collisions can be and how limited most children seats are in terms of protection from this type of incident? Luckily, Britax have all this issues covered in their products.

Britax Advocate 65 CS Convertible has two huge crash energy absorption pads on both sides to minimize injuries and shield children from banging their delicate face onto glass in a side collision.

What really make Britax Advocate 65 CS he best convertible car seat is because it has a tether feature that I have attached to my overhead tether connectors in the back of my Honda Odyssey. This make the car seat stood in place securely and firmly.

In just about fifteen minutes, I managed to install this car seat and it was a breeze to me as compared to my previous baby seat. If you are installing it rear facing, just remember to put it in full recline before installing.

The main reason I am willing to spent my money on this product is because of its safety reputations. However I also felt good seeing my boy being so comfortable and protected in what has to be one of the best car seats ever made.

If you are taking an airplane trips for vacation, this seat is also very easy to manage. Although the side panels make it seem larger than the Britax Boulevard, in reality it is as easy to handle as the Boulevard.

My husband and I took it with us to Las Vegas and had no issues. However, if you think of moving it from car to car on a daily basis, I feel it will be an inconvenience to you as it is quite big and heavy. But if you are willing to do it with another person, then it should be alright.

Other than that this seat is highly recommended for parents or caretakers who are very concerned about their child’s safety and well-being. I also felt good knowing that I have purchased the best convertible car seat that money can buy.

To Get The Best Credit Cards – Credit Repair = Prime Rate Cards

There are literally thousands, of different credit cards out there for consumers to sift through. Some cards are extremely good, others; not so much. Finding the right credit card can be difficult, especially with so many choices, but most consumers understand one basic principle of credit cards: the lower the interest rate, the better.

The best interest rates on credit cards will be less than 10%, though these credit cards are difficult for many people to get a hold of. They are reserved for people with the absolute best credit scores — people whom banks and other credit agencies view as extremely safe investments. These are people who the financial institutions know are more likely to have the money to pay them back without any bumps along the way.

The best cards are called “prime rate cards” because these credit cards are often tied very closely to the prime rate set by the credit marketplace, one of the main factors used in determining the interest rates for loans and credit cards alike. These cards are going to have the lowest interest rates, and will almost never have any additional fees.

If you don’t already have a top notch credit score, then your chances of scoring a prime rate card isn’t good, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work yourself up to a point where you qualify. No matter how bad your credit is, it can be repaired given time and the right advocate on your side.

If you’re credit score is bad or even just average — you will want a prime rate card, then you need to remember that credit repair equals prime rate cards. There is no easy way to “cheat” the system, and having good credit is far more important than getting one prime rate card. Besides, if you repair your credit correctly and maintain a high score, then you won’t have to chase after a prime rate credit card because the banks and lenders that make these cards will start coming after you.

Credit repair can be done by anyone, and many people would be surprised by how quickly a score can recover if you do the right things. A friend of mine at one point in his life had about $3,000 in credit card debt in grad school, and late payments on his credit report from as early as two years before, and a score around 550. Not good. But he paid all his bills on time after that initial missed payment (and always added a little extra just to make sure he was over) and paid all his debt off so his balance was $0.

The result? In about four months of not having any balance, his credit score was a 729. That’s an excellent score, especially considering how close those last delinquent payments were. In addition to that, my friend had less than seven years of total credit history, meaning if the balance stayed at zero the score was only going to continue to climb and get better.

The point of is that it doesn’t have to take ten years to clean up a credit report. If credit repair is one of your tactics then a score can improve rapidly. Even if it takes more time, doing the right thing tends to have a snowball effect. Don’t be surprised if your score goes up five points in one month, then seven, then seven, then thirty-eight. More often than not — that’s exactly how it will happen when you represented by a reputable credit repair company such as Lexington Law.

When aiming for the best credit cards possible: all you need to remember is that credit repair = prime rate cards. It really is that simple. If you want the best cards, get your credit repaired and before you know it the companies will be flooding your mailbox with prime credit card offers and low interest financing.