Pain in the Pocketbook for Millions of US Healthcare Consumers -- Author Addresses Healthcare in New BusinessWeek

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Author proposes solution to national healthcare problem addressed in Dec 3rd edition of BusinessWeek: be more proactive and increase your knowledge.

Bethlehem, PA (Press Release) November 30, 2007 Author proposes solution to national healthcare problem addressed in Dec 3rd edition of BusinessWeek: be more proactive and increase your knowledge.

Author Dr. Ruthann Russo (http://www.RuthannRusso.com) is suggesting that patients, even uninsured patients, need be to part of the solution to our healthcare crisis. "Fresh Pain for the Uninsured", the cover story for the December 3rd edition of BusinessWeek describes the joint financial ventures by firms like General Electric, Citigroup and Capital One, who are being hired by hospitals and doctors to collect unpaid bills for uninsured patients.

Dr. Russo describes 3 key actions in her book, 7 Steps to Your Best Possible Healthcare, that every American can undertake to avoid being hassled by collection companies for unpaid medical bills. First, be aware of the top ten resources for underinsured or uninsured. The complete list, which is available in the book and at http://www.7stepshealth.com free of charge, includes organizations like Federal Free Clinics, Hill-Burton Hospitals (a list of over 300 hospitals who received construction funding from the Federal Government and in return, are required to provide certain free or deeply discounted services to patients), and resources for free participation in medical research studies.

Second, Dr. Russo describes how to negotiate with hospitals both before and after you have received services. Every hospital has financial counselors ready to work with you to figure out a workable solution. And, they are much more friendly than collection agencies. If you are uninsured, hospitals will give you a discount, but you generally need to ask for it. There are also resources like Vimo that allow you to compare each hospital's fees for surgical procedures.

Third, explore all Medicaid options even if you think you do not meet the criteria. Every state is unique, but most have programs that cover care for certain diagnoses (like breast cancer or certain lung diseases) even if you do not qualify for Medicaid based on your income. "There are a lot more resources and help available for patients than most people are aware of," says Dr. Russo. Chapter 3 of the book, Paying for Your Healthcare When You are Insured and When You Are Not Insured helps everyone to be more proactive.

Dr. Russo has written 5 books used by managers in the healthcare industry. Hospitals throughout the country use her training programs to assist their physicians and clinicians in providing quality care to their patients.

Ruthann Russo, PhD, JD, MPH, RHIT, an expert in health information management and policy, is changing the focus on healthcare. How can you get the best possible healthcare? The key to success is you. In her book, 7 Steps to Your Best Possible Healthcare, Dr. Russo shows how to create a personal plan for getting your best care. Scheduled to arrive on bookstore shelves in January, the 7 Steps book is a practical and interesting guide written for you, the healthcare consumer. This well written book includes several assessment tools so you can work with Dr. Russo and achieve your best possible healthcare.

The book presents a different approach to healthcare. Millions of Americans are searching for answers to their best possible healthcare. The book includes numerous 'real-life' examples that demonstrate how you can take control of your healthcare by being an informed consumer. 7 Steps to Your Best Possible Healthcare is currently available at http://www.7StepsHealth.com.

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