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Fight Back

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Fight Back

Healthcare Consumer Rights Foundation

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“Fight Back” is produced by the non-profit organization Healthcare Consumer Rights Foundation. Each episode takes a look at a pressing current medical issue, often including the story of someone who has been negatively affected by that issue, such as insurance claims denied, not getting the referral to a specialist or medical procedure one needs, an unexpected “out of network” bill, dealing with heart disease, COVID, mental illness, and more. Then we interview a relevant expert who can provi ...
 
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show series
 
In this Library Release of Fight Back!, we talk with Peter Lee, Executive Director for California’s health insurance marketplace, Covered California. Here in California, the open enrollment period ends at the end of the year. Join us as we talk about the key things you need to know about enrolling in healthcare. In our conversation, Peter provides …
 
Millions of people suffer from autism, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and intellectual disabilities. In this minicast, Ken Barnes talks about growing up with his developmentally disabled twin brother, and the issues that he and his family went through caring for him. Former Options for All CEO Ken Barns shares about how to work through these issues and …
 
In this Library Release of Fight Back, we get an insider’s look at Intensive Care Units. Dr. Wes Ely, author of Every Deep-Drawn Breath: A Critical Care Doctor on Healing, Recovery, and Transforming Medicine in the ICU joins us to shed light on what patients and their loved one(s) experience when entering an ICU, how mental health plays such a sign…
 
Dr. Richard Sherman, a licensed psychologist in private practice, joins us to talk about the holiday blues. Feeling a bit “blue” or downcast during the holidays is common. Dr. Sherman explains the holiday blues and offers tips on how to meet the challenges of spending extra time with family and staying mentally healthy through it all, and much more…
 
In this Fight Back Minicast, we welcome Dr. Howard Zucker, former New York State Public Health Commissioner who led New York through the initial impact of COVID-19. Dr. Zucker shares New York’s experience as the first hot spot for COVID-19, dealing with shutdowns, masks, vaccines, and overrun emergency rooms. Join us as we take a quick look back at…
 
Join us on this Library Release of Fight Back, as we discuss medical marijuana. Many states in recent years have legalized the use of cannabis as a treatment for various medical conditions. We welcome our special guest, Sally Brammell, Senior Corporate Counsel at PAX Labs, a cannabis vaporizer company. She is also a parent of a young adult son who …
 
America is living through a time of unprecedented demographic change. In the last twenty years, the segment of our population over 65 has increased from 6% to 9%. According to estimates, those over 65 will comprise 17% of the population by 2050. At 65, individuals can join the Medicare healthcare system. But Medicare is complicated, and many who ar…
 
Join us on this Library Release of Fight Back, as 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 Divi…
 
In this Fight Back episode we welcome Linda Garvin, a Health Advocate. Linda graduated from the University of Massachusetts, earning her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Adult Nurse Practitioner training with honors. She has a Public Health Certificate in California. After an extensive medical career, Linda founded Patient Advocate Bay Area, …
 
In this Fight Back minicast, we talk with Gary Cohen, Vice President of Government Affairs at Blue Shield of California, about bringing healthcare into the digital age. We discuss what needs to happen to make electronic records work, hurdles to overcome regarding privacy concerns, and what consumers can do during the “digital transition.”…
 
In this Fight Back episode, our host, Steve Poizner, executive director of HCRF, welcomes our special guest, Dr. Jeff Poizner. Dr. Poizner is a Staff Psychologist at VA San Diego Healthcare System and specializes in providing evidence-based treatments via Telemental Health platforms to veterans with PTSD and other conditions. Dr. Poizner completed …
 
Are your stomach and digestion connected to your overall health? The answer is obvious: yes. But exactly how profound that connection is and the level to which an anti-inflammatory diet can impact your overall health and wellness is the topic we explore this week on Fight Back. In this Minicast, host Steve Poizner talks with Dr. Melamed about how y…
 
In this Fight Back episode we welcome our special guest, Dr. Cari Spencer. Dr. Cari is a California-licensed naturopathic doctor and physical therapist. She holds a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University, the leading naturopathic medical school in North America, as well as two Masters Degrees in physical therapy from the Universi…
 
In this Fight Back Minicast, we talk with Adriana Contreras about the health and safety of student athletes. As a collegiate swim coach and a certified and professional Division I collegiate soccer referee, Adriana talks about how pressure can be too much for an athlete, when parents need to speak with an athlete’s coach, and adhering to the banned…
 
What's the latest on "Long-COVID"? What is the current predominant sub-variant in the United States? What do we know about the new vaccine coming out in the fall of 2022? Do we have any data on why some people never test positive for COVID? Recently, President Biden experienced a rebound effect from the antivirals. How common is this? What should w…
 
In this minicast, we talk with Sean Flynn, an assistant professor of economics at Scripps College, about the economics of our healthcare system: why consumers don’t pay much attention to healthcare costs, why health insurance companies spend so much, and why employers don’t push for reform. He also profiles Whole Food’s experiment.…
 
In this Fight Back episode, we welcome Dr. Howard Zucker, former New York State Public Health Commissioner who led New York through the initial impact of COVID-19. He has held public health positions at the state, federal, and international levels and academic appointments at the Yale, Columbia, and Albert Einstein medical schools. He served as hea…
 
Service animals—especially canines—have proven to be able helpers to those in need. In this Fight Back Minicast episode, Michelle Williams, Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator for Canine Companions, and Stefanie Lund, a volunteer breeder of service canines, discuss the difference between service, therapy, and emotional support dogs and how t…
 
In this Fight Back episode, Dr. Ted Mazer discusses various ear, nose, and throat conditions and disorders. From ringing in the ears, the causes and treatment for hearing loss to the loss of smell, we will cover it and get real-world answers for you. Dr. Mazer specializes in treating ear, nose, head, throat, and neck disorders. He was named one of …
 
On this special Fight Back minicast, we hear a clip from our very first LIVE Telephone Town Hall where we discussed the latest Covid-19 outbreak and the endemic with University of California COVID-19 expert, Dr. Brad Pollock. Hundreds of listeners interacted and asked questions of Dr. Pollack and Healthcare Consumer Rights Executive Director and th…
 
In this unique Fight Back podcast, we hosted our first LIVE telephone “Town Hall.” Hundreds of Fight Back podcast listeners called in to hear the latest news about the COVID-19 endemic, ask questions and interact with our two moderators: Dr. Brad Pollock and Steve Poizner. Dr. Brad Pollock hosts a monthly “COVIDCast” on the Fight Back podcast, wher…
 
Health insurance is critical for individuals and families. When you suddenly lose your health insurance because of COVID-19 or any other reason, it can feel overwhelming and difficult to determine where to start and what to do. Fortunately, there are many options available. Jenn Moore, Health Net’s chief commercial officer, joins us to talk about h…
 
In this Fight Back episode, we welcome our special guest, Dr. Brad Pollock, to discuss childhood and young adult cancers. Dr. Pollack is a Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology, Chairman of the Department of Public Health Sciences, and Associate Dean for Public Health Sciences at the University of California (UC) Davis School of Medicine. He is a…
 
Lifestyle Medicine focuses on educating and motivating patients to change personal habits and behaviors by focusing on whole food, plant-predominant diet, regular physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances, and positive social connections. We discuss this topic with lifestyle medicine expert Dr. Cate Coll…
 
In this Fight Back episode, Dr. Ted Mazer joins us to talk about how you can make your medical expenses fit into your budget. We discuss the importance of shopping for medical procedures, ways to avoid surprise billing, understanding how in and out of network physicians and procedures affect your final bill, how to negotiate hospital bills and more…
 
Do you need a second COVID vaccine booster shot? Are the home rapid tests able to detect the newest variants? What's the latest data regarding long COVID? Dr. Pollock joins us for our monthly COVIDcast to answer these questions. He also talks about vaccine availability in third world countries, and how other countries are currently struggling with …
 
Most people with COVID-19 don’t become severely ill and will often get better within weeks of falling sick. By staying up to date on your COVID-19 vaccine, including a booster dose, you can lower the odds of a severe illness and the risk of hospitalization. However, even a mild COVID infection can cause what doctors and researchers call “long COVID…
 
Many states in recent years have legalized the use of cannabis as a treatment for various medical conditions. We welcome our special guest, Sally Brammell, Senior Corporate Counsel at PAX Labs, a cannabis vaporizer company. She is also a parent of a young adult son who is developmentally disabled by a rare pediatric epilepsy syndrome. Although his …
 
Do you need a fourth COVID vaccine booster shot? Will we need annual COVID vaccine shots, just like shots for the flu? Dr. Pollock joins us for our monthly COVID update to answer these questions. He also talks about the possibility of new variants, the importance of strengthening the global network of laboratory surveillance to detect such strains,…
 
Debby Johnson, a third-generation pharmacist and former President of the California Pharmacist Association, gives us a peek into the world of a pharmacist. She explains the important role pharmacists play as they interact with patients, how computer technology has become an indispensable tool and offers advice when insurance companies deny coverage…
 
Despite tremendous progress, smoking is still a leading cause of death from lung cancer and a significant contributor to heart disease. Our special guest, Erica Costa, discusses how to quit smoking. Erica is the Director of Advocacy for Tobacco Control in California for the American Lung Association. In this special Minicast, Ms. Costa talks about …
 
For many years, service animals—especially canines—have helped those with various disabilities. But did you know that such service animals can do so much more? Amazingly they can: Keep track of your blood sugar level Warn you of impending issues Pick up, move or retrieve household items Play a considerable role in treatment for veterans and others …
 
In our March COVID Update episode, Dr. Pollack joins us to talk about the origins, definitions, and differences of an epidemic, pandemic, and endemic. We also discuss when the COVID pandemic could become endemic, the state of COVID variants, and the potential for more “variants of concern.” We even talk about the unseemly yet important (and interes…
 
Dr. Laith Alshawabkeh, a board-certified cardiologist, discusses the latest advancements in the treatment of heart disease, specifically valve replacements and stents. Dr. Alshawabkeh specializes in caring for adults with congenital heart disease, an abnormality in the heart present at birth. He leads the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at U…
 
Everyone loves to go to the dentist, right? After listening to this surprisingly fascinating Fight Back episode, you might not exactly love your dentist, but you will be more informed and even inclined to visit your dentist more often. Our special guest, Dr. Joel Strom, discusses how oral hygiene impacts overall health and how preventive care almos…
 
In this Fight Back Minicast episode, our special guest, world-renowned Dr. Kathy Magliato, who is one of the few female cardiothoracic surgeons in the world, will discuss with us why heart disease is called the silent killer, its signs and symptoms, and some of the lifestyle changes you can make to improve your heart’s health.…
 
Do you ever feel overwhelmed trying to keep up-to-date with the latest information on COVID-19, its variants, treatments, how to stay healthy, and so many more questions? The Healthcare Consumer Rights Foundation is proud to announce the release of our brand new podcast series: "What you need to know about COVID-19!" In this new series, Dr. Brad Po…
 
In this Fight Back Minicast episode, our special guest, Claire Day, discusses the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and how it differs from dementia and answers questions about the newly FDA-approved treatment for Alzheimer’s. Claire has been on the staff of the Alzheimer’s Association since 2001. She is currently the Chief Program Officer at the Northern Ca…
 
In this episode of Fight Back, we get an insider’s look at Intensive Care Units. We are privileged to interview Dr. Wes Ely, author of Every Deep-Drawn Breath: A Critical Care Doctor on Healing, Recovery, and Transforming Medicine in the ICU. Dr. Ely sheds light on what patients and their loved one’s experience when entering an ICU, how mental heal…
 
This episode of Fight Back is an all-encompassing update on the COVID-19 pandemic. Our guest is Dr. Linda Halderman, a board-certified general surgeon with over 20 years of experience. Her interest in medicine and public health began after high school when she volunteered at an HIV clinic and hospice during the 1980’s AIDS pandemic. Dr. Halderman h…
 
In this episode of Fight Back, we will discuss the little-known yet potentially impactful Independent Medical Review system that gives healthcare consumers in every state of the country a powerful tool to fight back when insurance companies deny doctor-prescribed medical treatments. Our special guest is Mary Watanabe, Director of the California Dep…
 
In this episode of Fight Back, we discuss the latest innovations in treating all types of cardiovascular disease. We welcome our special guest Dr. Laith Alshawabkeh. Dr. Laith is a board-certified cardiologist specializing in caring for adults with congenital heart disease, an abnormality in the heart present at birth. He leads the Adult Congenital…
 
In this episode of Fight Back, we talk about the benefits of using a personal trainer. We welcome our special guest, Nicholas Andrus. A gifted athlete, Nick was selected for the junior Olympic soccer team and attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, on a soccer scholarship. He also has won numerous bodybuilding competitions. With this …
 
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