About Do Not Resuscitate Orders

A recent news story highlighted an ethical dilemma that arose for doctors who were treating an unresponsive patient and found “Do Not Resuscitate” and a signature tattooed on the patient’s chest. Fortunately, the physicians eventually were able to locate an actual Do Not Resuscitate form for the patient and could, therefore, honor those wishes.

Just what is a Do Not Resuscitate, or DNR, order? A DNR expresses, in a legal format, your wishes not to have lifesaving measures performed should the need arise. This document provides clear direction for your hospital, assisted living facility or nursing home.

Upon admittance to a health facility, you may be asked about your wishes should an event arise where you are unable to answer in the moment. For example, if you stop breathing, have a heart issue, a stroke or any other condition that may put you in a position for life-saving measures, do you want the hospital to do everything possible to keep you alive?

There is no right answer. You may decide you want life-saving measures, or you may decide you don’t want them. When my parents were nearing the end of their lives, they made the decision that they had lived full lives and if they were to stop breathing, they wanted to be left to die. The point is that you should make this decision at a time when you are able to avoid the decision being made for you.

Although DNR is a common term, you may hear some hospitals refer to this as “no code,” which means they won’t call for help to revive you if you stop breathing or are unconscious. The hospital may also refer to “allowing a natural death,” which means the same thing.

If you haven’t already, discuss your Do Not Resuscitate wishes with your doctor, hospital or healthcare facility. They will let you know how to proceed with the proper paperwork.

Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/do-not-resuscitate-dnr-tattoo-leaves-doctors-debating-whether-to-save-his-life/

Do you want to learn more about navigating the health care system? Pick up my book Your Hospital Stay in which you can learn about the other documents you should have in place.

One Question to Ask in the Emergency Room

When you’re being rushed in to the emergency room after an accident, one of the furthest things from your mind is asking that doctor if they take your insurance. However, in reality, this is one of the first questions you should ask. Most people don’t realize that they can be out of network with the doctors who are saving their lives, or even worse, the hospital in which their life was saved.

Unfortunately, you can’t assume that the physician who is caring for you is in your network. If you’ve ever spent an extended amount of time in the hospital, you know that many different doctors pop in and out of your room all day long. So it’s up to you to ask if they take your insurance; if not, be prepared to pay.

States such as California are making sure patients no longer get bills from out-of-network doctors. As of last month patients will be able to rest easy knowing that if their insurance is in network with the hospital they are in, they will not be treated by any out-of-network doctors. This law is designed to help the patient. So many people are getting hit with out-of-network doctors’ bills, and with the price of insurance already being extremely high, it’s important that we do everything we can to keep costs down.

What do you think about this law? Have you ever had this happen to you? Do they do this in in your state?

 

To learn more about choosing your insurance pick up my workbook Easy Healthcare: Choose your insurance.

Jimmy Kimmel’s Healthcare Scare: What You Should Know

As you may know, on May 1, 2017, Jimmy Kimmel spoke about the birth of his baby boy, Billy.

If you haven’t seen the clip, click here to watch.

Unfortunately, several hours after the birth of his baby, Jimmy and his wife Molly learned that Billy had a heart defect and needed surgery to save his life.

Jimmy thanked Cedars-Sinai Hospital and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for providing Billy with amazing care. Because of the attentive staff and great care, his newborn son is home and doing well.

Jimmy’s message was extremely important and shows how far we have come in healthcare, and how far we have to go.

Friends, family, and readers have asked me some questions about what Jimmy had to say. Here’s my take:

Jimmy spoke about “pre-existing conditions.”

Question: What are pre-existing conditions and how do they affect healthcare coverage?

Answer: Pre-existing conditions are health problems that occur prior to the date new health coverage starts.

Jimmy is correct that prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), pre-existing conditions, such as birth defects, could prevent someone like baby Billy from getting coverage. They also enabled insurance companies to charge individuals more. The ACA now prevents health insurance companies from refusing coverage or charging more for pre-existing conditions.

Question: What is the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”)?

Answer: NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is the nation’s medical research agency. Jimmy is correct that, despite initial plans to cut the budget for NIH, Congress increased its funding by $2 billion.

As a mother of two and a parent of a daughter born with a serious disease, I was touched by Jimmy’s message. It’s important to stay in the know about healthcare and healthcare policies, in case you or a loved one is impacted.

Congratulations to Jimmy Kimmel and his family on their baby boy!

To learn more about health care for your family, check out the Women’s Mind Body Wellness Summit. It contains 6 interviews by top female health professionals plus two workout videos and 3 bonus videos on mind-body wellness with MyHealthSpin founder Lori-Ann Rickard.