Navigating the Healthcare System

Throughout your life you will have to make health decisions for yourself and your family. The decisions you make will influence your overall well-being as well as the quality and cost of your care. Understanding the healthcare system may help you make the best decisions for you and your loved ones.

If you do not see a topic of interest to you, please try the A to Z listing of health conditions.

recommended reading
These articles provide in-depth information and are written to help you make the best healthcare decisions for you and your loved ones.

Choosing a Health Care Agent

Complementary Medicine

Home Medical Records

Making the Most of Your Appointment

Making Wise Health Decisions

Medical Specialists

Nonprescription Medications and Products

Prescription Medications

Share in Every Medical Decision

Skills for Reducing Costs But Not Quality

Work in Partnership with Your Doctor

Work in Partnership with Your Health Professional to Prevent Medical Errors

Writing an Advance Directive

Your Home Health Center

decision points
When dealing with an illness or health problem, you have to make decisions—when to call a doctor, which test to have, and what treatment to use. Decision Points are designed to help you learn about your choices and options, and to prepare you to work with your healthcare provider to make the best decision for your care.
Should I use complementary medicine?
tests & procedures

Your doctor may recommend screening or diagnostic tests to evaluate your condition. To learn more about these tests and diagnostic procedures use the section of this site called Medical Tests A to Z.

medication center
medication assistance

This section provides you with an alphabetical listing of more than 1,000 medications, including prescription drugs and those you can purchase over-the-counter. Just select your medications to learn more about them. You can choose your medication by brand name or generic name.

Medications A-Z

If you are having difficulty paying for your medications you may qualify for financial assistance or free medications. Visit the Medication Assistance Center to learn about available medication and insurance programs.

Don't let financial problems stop you from getting the treatment you need; there are resources and organizations that may be able to help you.

additional resources

This listing provides you with Internet sites that are sponsored by government agencies or are well-known and credible national organizations.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Health Insurance Association of America—Consumer Information
Medical Library Association
MEDLINEplus—Health System Topics
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine
National Health Information Center

Surfing the Internet
When looking at Internet sites, remember that the information can be sponsored by anyone. Take into account the sponsoring group or individual when gathering information or help. Be especially careful about giving out personal or financial information.

Learn more about surfing the web:

Artículos para el cuidado propio - [Self-Care Tools]
Cómo tomar decisiones sensatas en lo referente a la salud - [Making Wise Health Decisions]
Decisiones conjuntas acerca de la cirugía - [Shared Decisions About Surgery]
Decisiones conjuntas acerca de las pruebas médicas - [Shared Decisions About Medical Tests]
Decisiones conjuntas acerca de los medicamentos - [Shared Decisions About Medications]
Expedientes médicos en el hogar - [Home Medical Records]
Información médica en el hogar - [Health Information at Home]
Lista de control de Healthwise para el cuidado propio - [The Healthwise Self-Care Checklist]
Lista de control para consultas con el médico - [Ask-the-Doctor Checklist]
Medicamentos de receta - [Prescription Medications]
Medicina complementaria - [Complementary Medicine]
Productos y medicamentos que se compran sin receta - [Nonprescription Medications and Products]
Pruebas médicas que pueden hacerse en casa - [Home Medical Tests]

Last modified on: 30 June 2015

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