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Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
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The Empowered Patient: How to Get the Right Diagnosis, Buy the Cheapest Drugs, Beat Your Insurance Company, and Get the Best Medical Care Every Time Paperback – August 10, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Every year in America nearly 200,000 people die due to preventable mistakes or infections acquired in hospitals. CNN senior medical correspondent Cohen uses these sobering stats and a horror story of her own (her sick newborn received unnecessary spinal taps) to launch this tract on patient empowerment. Cohen counters numerous examples of medical errors, rude and rushed doctors, and hostile insurance companies with practical tips to guarantee quality medical care. Potential patients learn ways of finding the right physician, tips for courageously disagreeing with or even firing the "wrong doctor," strategies for maximizing doctor appointment time, and more. Misdiagnoses occur often, the author notes, citing examples of "diagnostic heroes" like the teenage girl, mysteriously ill for eight years, who diagnosed her own disease in a high school science class. Cohen offers practical advice for avoiding such problems, surviving hospitalization (more difficult than you might think), and coping with insurance companies. An appendix of medical websites, sample interactions with medical professionals, and guidelines for climbing out of medical debt completes this valuable book.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In this easy-to-read primer, CNN medical correspondent Cohen explains how to fire your doctor, avoid a misdiagnosis, be an Internet sleuth, battle your insurance company, get cheap-but-good drugs, and escape the hospital alive. She organizes these categories in chapters with common problems and practical solutions. To illustrate her points and to keep the advice from being too dry, she breaks out mini profiles of real people. Fans of celebrity news will be happy: Cohen also drops names. She refers to her interviews with Dennis Quaid and Evan Handler (who plays Charlotte’s adorable, bald husband on Sex and the City). Its easy to get through this chatty book, in which Cohen reveals that she is a self-described germaphobe; her daughters spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit; and her mother suffers from end-stage kidney failure because of an internist who failed to catch her adrenal problems earlier. A clearly written winner. --Karen Springen
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (August 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345513746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345513748
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As an MD, I read Elizabeth Cohen's book with tears in my eyes. It just tapped into my own sadness that a book like this even needs to be written. Doctors are supposed to be there to help people. We're meant to be a person's advocate. I went to medical school because I'm committed to helping my patients heal. And yet, the system is sorely broken and no band-aid is going to fix these boo boos any time soon. The truth is, this book is vitally necessary. You DO need to understand the system and know how to work it. You can't just sit back and say, "I trust you, Doc." Until things get better (and if I do my job well, maybe they will), this book will help you known how to advocate for yourself and those you love the way I did.

If you want to learn how to take your health care into your own hands, I highly recommend this book! This book teaches you exactly what you need to know in order to get the most value out of your health care dollar, haggle with your insurance company, find Dr. Right and fire Dr. Wrong, pay less for drugs, avoid a misdiagnosis, make the most out of learning from the internet, get your medical questions answered, stay safe in the hospital, avoid falling prey to medical marketing, and learn to be a "bad" patient.

Buy it. You'll love it. You'll read it more than once. You'll tell everyone you know about it. And if you pay attention, I promise you'll get better health care.

For more about Elizabeth Cohen's book, visit my website for a complete review:

[...]

Lissa Rankin, MD
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Format: Paperback
Elizabeth Cohen and I first compared notes about patient empowerment in 2007, before many people were talking about the necessity for patients to understand the healthcare system and how to advocate for themselves. We had an immediate connection - both of us had suffered at the hands of the healthcare system, and both of us are driven to make sure we prevent others from suffering needlessly, too.

These years later, Elizabeth has penned an outstanding primer for kickstarting that process in patients. Just as the title promises, readers will come away with the foundation of understanding why they need to step up, and the basic tools they need to advocate for themselves - to become empowered.

The Empowered Patient is so very readable. It's full of stories - I dare you not to choke up! But it's humorous where appropriate, too. Reading Elizabeth's writing is like carrying on a conversation with a good friend.

Most impressive is the wealth of resources she's tapped into to provide her stories and advice. From patients, to medical professionals, to other authors, to her colleague Dr. Sanjay Gupta (CNN) or even Deepak Chopra, she's interviewed them all and provided us with an insider's view of the medical world we might not otherwise ever understand.

Do yourself a favor and purchase this book. You'll better understand your own role in getting your own best healthcare, and you'll have access to the tools you need to get started.

Trisha Torrey
Every Patient's Advocate
Author of You Bet Your Life! The 10 Mistakes Every Patient Makes- How to Fix Them to Get the Healthcare You Deserve
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not just the same old stuff! I've read several books of this nature, but this one has a wide variety of information not included in any of the others, like how to look for the email addresses of experts in any medical specialty. Even the Introduction is well worth reading.
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Format: Paperback
Elizabeth Cohen turned her investigative eye to the healthcare industry. A CNN Senior medical Correspondent, Elizabeth offers practical advice on how to:

Find a doctor who understands and listens to you, Ask the right questions for the best treatment, Make the most out of a short office visit, Avoid getting a misdiagnosis, Cut out of pocket costs for prescription drugs, Harness the power of the Internet for learning about medical issues, Fight back when insurance claims are denied, Keep safe in a hospital

The author combines stories and crucial advice on receiving the best possible health care. She has a personable, informative and conversational writing style. As a legal nurse consultant, I have seen far too many patients who were unaware of the practical advice Elizabeth dispenses. This is a book that will leave you feeling informed and armed with helpful guidelines.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Why is it that going to a physician's office turns powerful, intelligent people into babbling idiots, who accept anything they are given and do anything they are told? When a person has a chronic illness, it is often even more difficult to get good service from health care professionals because they view those individuals as whiny, complaining patients. This book explains how to get what you need in health care and raises awareness of how dangerous it can be not to demand what you need. I highly recommend this book - especially to sufferers of chronic conditions or those over 60. Learn to be an assertive patient, and get the health care you deserve.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is absolutely no doubt that we are in an era of consumer-driven health care. Now, more than any other time in history, consumers have access to vital medical information and are using it to actively engaging in their care. They're internet savvy, connected and asking questions. My question to the healthcare organizations of the world is; are you ready for this? Are your providers?
Author Elizabeth Cohen, is a medical correspondent for CNN. In her work, Cohen embraces the empowered patient by encouraging them to know more, ask more, and take more responsibility by playing an active role in their care. My conclusion... it's about time.
As a fellow advocate for patient empowerment, I was hooked in the first few paragraphs of this book. Then, after a few chapters I started to have some concerns (albeit fleeting) that Cohen's stories might be construed as doctor-bashing and fall on deaf ears in the medical community. She tells of misdiagnosis, unnecessary treatments and how patient persistence for more answers can save their lives. But the reality is that these are real stories and, unfortunately, they are happening every day.
There are three good reasons that health care professionals should read this book:
1. It reminds us that a medical diagnosis and the subsequent treatment can be wrong and that we are human and cannot let ego stand in the way of patient safety and positive outcomes.
2. It demonstrates that when providers listen to their customers and engage them as partners in their care, great things can happen. (Notice that I use the word `customer' and not patient. This is because using the word patient implies a more submissive relationship.
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