Thursday, May 13, 2010

Expert Patient AKA Chronic Disease Self-Manager

I often get emails from newly diagnosed folks who are overwhelmed with their diagnosis of a "chronic disease". They feel at a loss over how to best interact with their doctors, family and friends.

Research is very clear that becoming an "Expert Patient" as they are called in the UK or a "Chronic Disease Self-Manager" as we call them here in the US is the absolute best way to maximize your effectiveness in "managing" your chronic disease.

The better YOU can articulate your symptoms and IN GREAT SPECIFICITY document how they impair your normal daily living activities, the better you can become an "Expert Patient" and partner with your dr on the best "intervention mechanisms" to improve the quality of your life.

If you email me I can send you a free ebooklet that I recently did that gives you advice about becoming your own Self-Advocate - EP - or, as we call the person here in the US - A "Chronic Disease Self-Manager".

Here's a UK definition of EP that I recently found.

"An observation often made by doctors, nurses and other health professionals who undertake long-term follow-up and care of people with particular chronic diseases like diabetes mellitus, arthritis or epilepsy is 'my patient understands their disease better than I do.' This knowledge and experience held by the patient has for too long been an untapped resource. Research and practical experience in North America and Britain are showing that [b]today's patients with chronic diseases need not be mere recipients of care. They can become key decision-makers in the treatment process[/b]. By ensuring that knowledge of their condition is developed to a point where they are empowered to take some responsibility for its management and work in partnership with their health and social care providers, patients can be given greater control over their lives. Self-management programmes can be specifically designed to reduce the severity of symptoms and improve confidence, resourcefulness and self-efficacy."
Note: bold not part of citation; added for emphasis only.

Here is an Outstanding website resource that has an excellent article about becoming an "Expert Patient".

The key idea to keep in mind is that the more you know what is going on with you the better you can help your health care team come up with ways to increase your quality of life.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Another DisabilityKey process testamonial

Doing an Internet search, I found another unsolicited testimonial about the success of the Disabilitykey process:

"Very long story short, I was approved for SSDI in February 2009. I firmly believe I was successful because I was completely prepared, as were my doctors. I am very thankful for their help, but I am especially thankful for the help and advice of one very special lady. Her name is Carolyn Magura. I was very blessed to find her on the SSDI message boards at She gives EXCELLENT advice there and on her own website DisabilityKey and her blog Disability Key Blog. I very highly recommend you check out those sites if you are preparing to file for SSDI or if you have already been turned down. I truly believe they played a HUGE role in my being prepared which led to me being approved so very quickly!"

You too can access the tools to document your symptom impairments and get corroboration from your doctors. Please email me for assistance.

DisabilityKey process even works for Attorneys!!

In case you wonder just who can be successful using the DisabilityKey process, consider the following testimonial from an Attorney for whom we assisted qualify for Long Term Disability (LTD). Oh - by "cost effective" he is referring to the consulting fees wherein his documentation is critiqued for details and specificity.

"I was a litigation attorney whose diabetes worsened preventing me from performing the duties of my occupation. Carol(yn) and her team guided me through the LTD process and documentation. After only a few month my LTD insurer approved me for benefits based upon documents prepared by Carol(yn) and the reports of my tre...ating doctors. I found Carol(yn)'s methodology sound, understandable and cost effective."

Monday, May 10, 2010

May, 2010 - Social Security Claims currently clogging already overloaded system!

Want to share this current update about the status of Social Security Disability Insurance claims. The key here is that if you or someone you know is about to start - PLEASE EMAIL ME and get the DisabilityKey process to optimize your opportunity to jumpstart your application process.

REMEMBER: Over 4,000+ folks WORLDWIDE already provided the DisabilityKey process. For those who FOLLOW THE PROCESS COMPLETELY with the documentation and corroboration, the success rates are about 90%.

Here is the link for the article. Key components belos.

WASHINGTON – Nearly 2 million people are waiting to find out if they qualify for Social Security disability benefits. It will be a long wait for most, even if they eventually win their cases.

The Social Security system is so overwhelmed by applications for disability benefits that many people are waiting more than two years for their first payment. In Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota and other states, the wait can be even longer.

About 3.3 million people are expected to apply for benefits this year. That's 300,000 more than last year and 700,000 more than in 2008.

Nearly two-thirds of those claims will be denied by state agencies overseen by the Social Security Administration.

Applicants file disability claims with the Social Security Administration, which turns them over to state agencies, usually called Disability Determination Services. A doctor must verify that debilitating medical conditions will last at least a year. About 63 percent of initial claims are denied, after an average wait of 111 days.

Applicants in most states can appeal the decision to the same state agency. About 86 percent of those appeals are denied, after an average wait of an additional 104 days.

Applicants can then appeal to an administrative law judge. About 554,000 cases were decided at this level in 2009. The judges approved benefits in 63 percent of the cases, after an average processing time of 491 days.

Including the time it takes to file the appeals at each stage, the entire process takes an average of 777 days, or a little more than two years, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Alaska, which recently opened a hearing office, takes an average 642 days for an administrative law judge to process a claim. Ohio takes 581 days, Michigan takes 564 days and Minnesota takes 560 days