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.

Should You Go to the Emergency Room?

Sometimes it’s easy to know that you need an emergency room (ER). Heart attacks or major accidents, for example, usually warrant a trip to the ER. But what if you are sick or injured? How do you know if you should go to the ER?

In this short video, I talk about what to consider if you are unsure of whether or not you need an emergency room. Watch it now—before an emergency arises—so you’ll be prepared if something does happen.

Have you downloaded the MyHealthSpin toolkit yet? It’s filled with helpful ebooks, worksheets, and videos to help you handle your healthcare with confidence. Get yours today.

3 Things to Know about a Patient Advocate

Ill Father Making A Last WillMany of our readers have questions about how to handle problems when they or their loved one is in the hospital. One of the things I always recommend is to contact the hospital’s patient advocate.

Most hospitals and healthcare facilities have a patient advocate that can often help you deal with the complexity of a hospital stay. Whether you are having trouble getting to talk to the doctor or you need a “team” meeting with all of your doctors to understand how the healthcare team is working together to get you better, a patient advocate can help.

Here are 3 things you should know:

  1. Patient advocates have many different names: They can be called Ombudsman, Care Advocates, Health Planners, Coordinators or Navigators.
  2. Different advocates specialize in different areas: Some advocates help you get insurance. Some help you figure out your hospital bills. Some advocates will sit with you and doctor to help you talk to the doctor about your care. Some will help you determine the best place for you to go when you leave the hospital. When you talk to a patient advocate, find out what they can do to help you. If they are not the right person, they will help you get to someone who can help with your particular problem.
  3. You must be your own patient advocate: You should never assume that the hospital will take care of everything. Hospitals have many patients and many healthcare specialists. If you are not getting the care you think you need, you must speak up. By asking the nurse or the doctor to speak with the hospital’s patient advocate, you will often be taking one of the best steps toward solving your healthcare problems.

Have you ever used a patient advocate? What tips do you have? I’d love to hear from you!

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