The facts are alarming: Medical errors kill more people each year than AIDS, breast cancer, or car accidents. One wrong important word on an insurance claim can mean your coverage is denied. If your doctor is too cozy with a pharmaceutical company, that may influence the medication he/she prescribes for you.
So how can you become your own advocate and navigate the minefield of today’s health-care system? CNN medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, offers shrewd advice and shares plenty of real-life stories, including her own, in her new book, The Empowered Patient.
Cohen suggests that you find a doctor who listens to you, ask the right questions, harness the power of the internet, and fight back when claims are denied.
Worried about being misdiagnosed? Here are five red flags to look for:
1. You go online and discover that your symptoms don’t match your diagnosis.
2. Your diagnosis is based on one test.
3. Your symptoms are common, and your diagnosis isn’t.
4. You don’t get better with treatment
5. Your symptoms are consistent with several diseases, and your doctor can’t explain to you how she picked one from the list.