• Patient Advocates and COVID-19: Does HIPAA Still Matter?

    By Debby Deutsch | March 22, 2020 (Published at GNANOW.org It goes without saying that within the last couple of weeks our world has been turned upside down as a result of the COVID-19 virus. Once the initial shock wears off, however, we realize that life still goes on and we need to adapt to new norms as we go about our personal and professional lives. Healthcare in general, and Patient Advocacy in particular, are at the forefront of the efforts to deal with this pandemic. But we will all need to come up with new ways to cope with the ever-evolving rules and processes imposed on the healthcare system,…

  • Maintaining Sanity: Burnout and Other Challenges for Family Caregivers

    By Debby Deutsch | March 4, 2020 Greater National Advocates website https://www.gnanow.org/ Support and assistance are properly focused on the needs of those afflicted with chronic and acute illness, and aging. Cancer Support Community, Alzheimer’s Association, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and many other organizations offer information on services available to help. However, behind every patient, there is usually a family caregiver providing support to the patient on a continual basis. Oftentimes, this family caregiver is a spouse or an adult child of the patient, who may have a career and other family obligations to manage, in addition to seeing to the evolving needs of the patient.  Besides…

  • Caregiver Transitions: Proving the Value of Patient Advocates

    By Debby Deutsch | May 16, 2020 (published on the Greater National Advocates website, https://www.gnanow.org) During current stay at home orders, many family members and loved ones have suddenly found themselves in the unanticipated role of caregiver. Likewise, those who were already caring for friends or family before coronavirus have expanded their roles and taken on significant additional challenges, some to the point of physically relocating to the home of a loved one, many times in a different geographic location. This has proven to be of great benefit to the recipient and has significantly raised the caregiver’s awareness of the true needs of the patient. “Once caregivers become more intimately…

  • ‘If a mammogram isn’t covered for a woman, I find that very upsetting:’ The proactive step that can save you money

    by Jenna Sachs, Updated at 10:23PM, January 30, 2020 KENOSHA — A mammogram should be part of any preventative health care plan for women over 50. So when a Kenosha woman was assured hers would be completely covered by insurance — and wasn’t — she and her husband turned to Contact 6. Sharon Perry takes care of her family by cooking healthy meals and takes care of herself by getting regular mammograms. Sharon Perry “They asked me if I wanted the 2-D or the 3-D,” said Sharon Perry. Before her 2018 appointment, Sharon’s husband called their insurance. “I was actually in the room when he called and they said both…

  • Guest Blog: National Healthcare Decisions Day April 16, 2020 ~

    By SAIL Professional Services Member Debby Deutsch|Patient Care Partners, LLC608-445-5431 April 16 is dedicated to prompting thoughts and conversations about advance care planning. What are your thoughts about end of life wishes, and who would help you communicate your wishes if you are no longer able to? It’s vital that the proper legal documents are in place to ensure your wishes will be honored at the end of your life, should you become unable to make your wishes known. A Health Care Power of Attorney document removes uncertainty about your choices and wishes being carried out. Currently, COVID-19 presents unique challenges with heightened risks and precautions, and broad restrictions on…

  • ‘Check your benefits:’ Use of telemedicine spikes amid pandemic, insurance providers expand coverage

    Posted 8:36 pm, April 8, 2020, by Jenna Sachs, Updated at 09:20AM, April 9, 2020 Milwaukee Fox6.com Patient Advocate Debby Deutsch of Patient Care Partners, LLC, said most major health insurers do cover virtual appointments, but never assume that yours will. (Debby Deutsch) ELM GROVE — The use of telemedicine — that is, a doctor appointment on your computer — has spiked due to COVID-19. Experts predict the outbreak will dramatically change how many people receive care, so why was one family told it wasn’t covered?Jessica Kagel Jessica Kagel’s 7-year-old son has monthly visits with a therapist at Red Oak Counseling in Elm Grove. “It’s mainly just to help him cope with…

  • Without notice, Ascension Health may have shared Wisconsin patients’ personal records with Google

    Madeline Heim, Appleton Post-Crescent Published 7:28 a.m. CT Nov. 12, 2019 | Updated 2:11 p.m. CT Nov. 12, 2019 Google is collecting personal health records of millions of Americans who receive medical care from Ascension Health — Wisconsin’s second-largest health provider — according to a Wall Street Journal report.  The St. Louis-based Ascension operates 23 hospitals and over 110 clinics in Wisconsin, according to the Catholic nonprofit’s website. Its areas of care include much of the east and central parts of the state from Eagle River to Racine.  Data collection for Project Nightingale, as the effort has been code-named, began last year and accelerated over the summer, according to the Journal. It includes lab results, hospitalization records and…

  • Madison-area advocates guide patients through complex health care system

    Wisconsin State Journal, May 26, 2019 DAVID WAHLBERG dwahlberg@madison.com Photos by: STEVE APPS, STATE JOURNAL Months after she had a stroke, Mariana Weinhold underwent a sleep study that revealed a breathing disorder for which a doctor ordered a sleep therapy machine. When Weinhold and her husband called to get the machine, they were told it might take more than a month. Then Carol Wittenberg called, using a polite but firm voice and enough medical jargon to let the providers know she understands the health care system. “Could you please mark it as urgent?” she said. The next business day, the Weinholds got a call back with an appointment to pick…