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37 minutes | Jun 7, 2021
Part 1: Medical Aid in Dying/Assisted Suicide: A Consumer-Facing Deep Dive into this Controversial End of Life Issue
With this episode, we begin a special two-part series on physician-assisted suicide/medical aid in dying; an issue debated the world over. As we tackle a subject with strong opinions on both sides, we want to remind our listeners that our purpose is to provide information and thought-provoking discussion on all aspects of healthcare and do not encourage particular actions or positions on any of our podcasts.In part one, we welcome our special guest, Dr. Lonny Shavelson, for an in-depth discussion about physician-assisted suicide/medical aid in dying laws in states around the country. With 29 years as an ER doctor, Dr. Shavelson founded Bay Area End of Life Options in 2016, a practice dedicated to terminally ill patients who are considering physician-assisted suicide/medical aid in dying options. Dr. Shavelson is currently Chair of the American Clinicians Academy on Medical Aid in Dying, where he focuses on advancing the clinical knowledge and practice about physician-assisted suicide/medical aid in dying, teaching, consulting with other clinicians about their patients, and advocating for best practices.Dr. Shavelson will educate us on the origins and evolution of physician-assisted suicide/medical aid in dying laws, how the process works in practice, what patients need to know about this end-of-life option, the issues surrounding insurance coverage, and more.
42 minutes | May 24, 2021
On this episode of Fight Back, we talk with special guest Dr. Alan Sanders, a specialist in infectious diseases. Dr. Sanders previously served as Chief of Medicine at St Peter’s Hospital in Albany, NY, and currently is the Chief Medical Officer of St Peter’s Health Partners. He will soon be assuming the role of Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Albany Medical Center Hospital. Among many other responsibilities, he will spearhead establishing a telemedicine program to deliver clinical care—including the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases—to underserved areas.Dr. Sanders gives us a behind-the-scenes look at telemedicine, from the implementation and use of the technology to what consumers should do to educate themselves on how telemedicine can work for them, and more. We will also discuss the current state of the pandemic and the significant role the vaccines are playing in defeating the virus.
37 minutes | May 10, 2021
In this episode of Fight Back, we learn about physical therapy. Physical therapists are highly educated, licensed health care professionals who examine, evaluate, and treat patients whose conditions limit their ability to move and function in daily life. From augmenting recovery after surgery or illness or pro-actively using physical therapy to improve general wellness to providing an alternative to pain-killing drugs, physical therapists play a critical role in a patient’s overall health and recovery from injuries and illnesses.Our special guest is Dr. Rick Katz. Dr. Katz worked as a physical therapist in both hospital and outpatient settings. He developed programs for cardiac, pulmonary, and stroke patients and a Sports Injury Clinic and a Coaches Clinic. In addition, he has held numerous elected and appointed positions at the national, state, and local levels of the American Physical Therapy Association.Dr. Katz will give our listeners a deep dive into how important physical therapy is to patient outcomes, how physical therapy can play a pro-active role in a healthy lifestyle as we age, the ways that physical therapy is covered by insurance companies, the current state of this fast-growing profession, and much more.
39 minutes | Apr 26, 2021
Autism Awareness Month - Part 2
April is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month, a nationwide effort to promote improved understanding and acceptance of people diagnosed with autism. Fight Back has joined this effort with a special two-part series on autism. If you haven’t listened to part one, we encourage you to visit www.healthcareconsumerrights.org and listen in. In episode two, we talk with special guest Kristin Jacobson. Kristin is the Founder and Executive Director of Autism Deserves Equal Coverage Foundation, which advocates for health policy and legal enforcement for autism and other mental health conditions. Previously, Kristin led a multi-year effort to pass autism insurance reform in California and was a principal drafter of the autism insurance law enacted in 2011. Kristin subsequently served on the Department of Managed Health Care’s Autism Advisory Task Force implementing the law.Kristin will help our listeners understand the laws and regulations that provide ASD patients with the rights to treatments, requirements for health insurance companies to cover such treatments, what you can do to fight back when facing coverage denials, and much more.
37 minutes | Apr 12, 2021
Autism Awareness Month
April is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month, a nationwide effort to promote improved understanding and acceptance of people diagnosed with autism. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 59 children in the United States—1 in 37 boys and 1 in 151 girls. A lifelong condition, autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, impacts the autistic individual and their families in many ways. On this Fight Back episode, we join the autism awareness effort with our special guest Assemblywoman Suzette Martinez Valladares. Suzette is a Latina businesswoman and educator who specializes in early childhood education and advocacy, and served special needs children as the former Executive Director of Southern California Autism Speaks. Suzette currently represents the 38th Assembly District in the California Legislature. Suzette will help us understand ASD, the importance of early diagnosis, how the parent-doctor and parent-teacher relationships play a huge role in diagnosis, the rights that autistic children have in the classroom, and much more.
33 minutes | Mar 29, 2021
Prepared for Long-Term Care? What You Need to Know
It is projected that about 70 percent of individuals over 65 will require at least some type of long-term care services during their lifetime, from help with everyday activities of daily living or requiring supervision due to severe impairments, to needing placement in a nursing home. On this episode of Fight Back, we will cover the state of long-term care in the country, and the key issues surrounding the insurance coverage available to consumers—what is causing the skyrocketing rise in the cost of long- term care insurance plans, what are the new hybrid coverages that are packaged with life insurance policies, where consumers can find help with new or existing policies, and much more. Our special guest for this episode is Bonnie Burns. Bonnie has more than 40 years of experience in long-term care insurance and actively promotes improved consumer protection in state and federal legislation and regulation. She has served as a consumer representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners since 1992, and is a consultant to California Health Advocates providing training, development of educational materials, and technical assistance on long term care insurance.
38 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
Back to School? The Impact of COVID on Kids
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of schools, there has been a significant uptick in mental health issues in children, including eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and suicide. This is a critical time for parents, children, and teachers. The pandemic has affected students mental and physical well-being, and schools are reporting children experiencing academic and developmental difficulties across all grade levels. And school officials are still weighing safety concerns related to fully reopening face-to-face for all grades.On this episode of Fight Back, our special guests are Jessica Cruz, the Executive Director of the California branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Dr. Kim Newell Green, a pediatrician, Associate Clinical Professor at UCSF and Past President of the San Francisco Marin Medical Society. We will discuss the health crisis that parents, children, and teachers are now dealing with after a year of school closures and shift to virtual learning, what parents can do to prepare themselves, and their children, for a return to in person learning, and much more.
47 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
Many of us have heard that heart disease is often called a “silent killer.” But what does that really mean to each of us? Heart disease can be a difficult and confusing diagnosis to understand and navigate. Our special guest is world renowned Dr. Kathy Magliato, who is one of the few female cardiothoracic surgeons in the world. She is currently developing a Women’s Heart Center to address the cardiac needs of female patients. We will discuss heart disease, its signs and symptoms, and some of the lifestyle changes you can make to improve your heart's health.
36 minutes | Feb 15, 2021
Trouble Sleeping? You're Not Alone
We all know a good night's sleep can make a world of difference, but you may not realize just how integral sleep is to your overall health—or that there is a whole field of medicine devoted to the subject. During this Fight Back episode, we speak with renowned sleep expert Dr. Rafael Pelayo, who talks with us about how important sleep is to our health. Dr. Pelayo is a clinical professor at the Sleep Medicine division of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Stanford University. We cover many key topics, from the basics of getting a good night's sleep to the physical and mental impacts of not getting enough high-quality sleep each night. We also discuss sleep disorders, the best ways to treat insomnia, and much more.
47 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
How to Make Covered CA & Health Insurance Work for You!
Fight Back! talks with Peter Lee, Executive Director for California’s health insurance marketplace, Covered California. In his role, Mr. Lee oversees the planning, development, and administration of Covered California and its efforts to improve the affordability and accessibility of quality healthcare for all Californians.In our conversation, Peter provides valuable insight into the many facets of the Covered California program, including what options consumers have for obtaining affordable health insurance even if they lose their employment, how middle and low-income families can access subsidies for premiums and co-pays, how the open and special enrollment windows operate, the value of shopping around for the best possible plan, the status of the COVID-19 vaccination program, and much more.
39 minutes | Jan 18, 2021
On today's episode, we talk with lifestyle medicine expert Dr. Cate Collings, Director of Lifestyle Medicine at El Camino Hospital and President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. Lifestyle Medicine focuses on educating and motivating patients to change personal habits and behaviors around using a whole food, plant-predominant dietary lifestyle, regular physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances, and positive social connection.Cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, once thought to be irreversible, are just a couple of conditions that lifestyle interventions have helped to improve.
32 minutes | Jan 5, 2021
2020: Year in Review
Fight Back is switching things up in our first episode of 2021. For this episode, our host, Steve Poizner, is in the hot seat, discussing what led to the launch of the Healthcare Consumer Rights Foundation and the Fight Back podcast, sharing some of the podcast's most memorable moments, and looking forward to 2021. It's a year in review—and a year to look forward to!You'll also meet Fight Back co-producers Robert Molnar and J'aime Rosales as they take us back through some of our most poignant episodes. Launching right around the time of California's first stay-at-home order in March, Fight Back wasted no time in addressing the current struggles that healthcare consumers face. From prioritizing mental health when life takes a drastic turn to steps we can take to promote health equity across races, ethnicities, and genders, our goal has been to equip listeners with information and tools to fight for their health. We even hosted Taiwan's former Health Minister, who provided invaluable insight into how Taiwan successfully fought COVID-19 and avoided the fallout that so many other nations experienced.In 2021, we're going even bigger. Our priority remains to motivate and equip people to fight back and to become the best advocate for their and their loved ones' health.
44 minutes | Dec 14, 2020
COVID-19 Vaccine: Is It Safe?
Latest reports indicate that COVID-19 cases are on the rise throughout the U.S., and many warn of more difficult days to come with the onset of winter. Throughout the pandemic, leaders have indicated that getting the pandemic under control hinges on creating and distributing a vaccine. But now that the first of the vaccines are rolling out to the public, consumers want answers to several pressing questions: how were these vaccines developed so fast? Will they be available for everybody? How will they distribute them? Most importantly, are they safe?In this Fight Back! episode, we talk with vaccine expert Dr. Mike Ybarra, an Emergency Room Physician, and Vice President of Medical Affairs and Strategic Alliances at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association. Dr. Ybarra has over ten years of advocacy, health policy, and direct patient care experience. His background and knowledge will help us take a deep dive into the development of the COVID vaccine, its technology, and its implications for the public.
26 minutes | Nov 30, 2020
Let's take a quick course in Pharmacy 101 with special guest Debby Johnson, a third-generation pharmacist and former President of the California Pharmacist Association. We'll dive into important topics related to the world of pharmacy, including the importance of having your prescriptions at one pharmacy, the dangers of drug interactions, the differences between brand name and generic medicines, and the pharmacist's specific roles and responsibilities. We'll also discuss two very timely topics: the value of receiving a flu shot during the COVID-19 pandemic and the role pharmacists will play in distributing the forthcoming COVID vaccines.
40 minutes | Nov 16, 2020
Healthcare for Dummies
In this episode, we discuss alternative health systems: different ways to deliver healthcare to patients, and how states, nonprofit organizations, and even companies—like Whole Foods—have implemented unique concepts to enable better and cheaper healthcare options for consumers.Our guest is Sean Flynn, Assistant Professor of Economics at Scripps College. He is the author of Economics for Dummies, which has now been translated into seven foreign languages, as well as the coauthor of the world's best-selling college textbook, Economics: Principles, Problems, and Policies. A recurring commentator on NPR, FOX Business, and ABC News, Sean holds a B.A. in economics from the University of Southern California and a Ph.D. in economics from U.C. Berkeley. Sean's in-depth knowledge of our healthcare system makes for a great discussion.
35 minutes | Nov 2, 2020
Taiwan's COVID-19 Success Story
While COVID-19 cases explode anew across the world, and America struggles with its next steps, Taiwan's national response has proven to be an important case study for world leaders. With a population of 23 million, Taiwan has reported only 550 cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths. How did they do this? We talk with Dr. Wen Chiu, former Taiwanese Minister of Health and Welfare (2011 – 2014), about how Taiwan learned valuable lessons from previous pandemics such as SARS and MERS and applied those lessons quickly as COVID-19 first erupted. From testing and contact tracing to national medical ID cards and an aggressive mandate to wear masks, we'll discuss what steps Taiwan took to mitigate the virus and protect its population.
54 minutes | Oct 19, 2020
COVID-19: Progress and Setbacks
As we enter the fall and winter months, and as cases begin surging again across the country and world, we provide an update on all things COVID-19.From testing and tracing to the progress the medical community has made developing therapeutics and vaccines to what you and your loved ones can do to protect yourself against the next wave, we will discuss it all with our special guest, Dr. Bob Wachter, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco, where he is the Holly Smith Distinguished Professor in Science and Medicine and the Benioff Endowed Chair in Hospital Medicine.A prominent voice for accurate information on all things COVID-19, Dr. Wachter has been a frequent commentator in the media. It is an honor to have him on Fight Back to talk about this national crisis.
42 minutes | Oct 5, 2020
Can we eliminate prescription narcotics, even after spinal surgery? It might sound far-fetched, but that is just one of the promises of Holistic Medicine. In this episode, orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Hooman Melamed joins Fight Back as our special guest. Dr. Melamed is an outspoken advocate of holistic and integrated medicine, the idea that we need to address all aspects of our health for our bodies to be in optimal condition. We discuss what this looks like in our day-to-day practices, including incorporating probiotics to considering the food you eat. Tune in to learn how you might benefit from a more holistic and integrated approach to your health.
41 minutes | Sep 21, 2020
Fight Back discusses the important and timely topic of health equity. "Health equity" means that everyone has a fair and equal opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Many factors impact a person's health, including poverty, access to good jobs, education, and housing, to name a few. Health equity advocates have emerged in response to challenges that people of color face while seeking and securing needed treatments from the medical community.What does health equity look like? How do communities and health organizations collaborate to promote health equity? How does addressing health equity impact everyone's health and safety? We'll dig into these issues and more with our special guest Jahmal Miller, System Vice President of CommonSpirit Health, serving in the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. Jahmal is recognized as a national thought leader and a leading spokesperson on public policy, health equity, mental health, social justice, and innovation. He serves on the American Diabetes Association's National Health Disparities Committee and previously served as the Deputy Director of the California Department of Public Health's Office of Health Equity (OHE). He also worked as a communications manager for Kaiser Permanente.
35 minutes | Sep 8, 2020
Negotiating Medical Bills
Today, we discuss whether it is possible to negotiate with your local hospital and what that means for you and your bottom line. (Hint: You have options.) We will be joined by special guest Alan Fox, a former hospital CFO, who offers his unique insight on the topic.
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