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7 Steps to your Best Possible Healthcare
The Essential Guide for Crafting Your Personal Healthcare Plan

by Ruthann Russo, PhD, JD, MPH, RHIT

      Most of us will have to interact with the healthcare community at some point. And donít we dread it? Even if we find that rare compassionate and skilled doctor who listens, we still have to deal with (mostly) inflexible hospital policies and an unhelpful insurance industry. Us versus The Beast. Our anger and frustration stem from feeling powerless, shut out, victimized by the system. But, what if we knew how to navigate the system?

Ruthann Russo is the author of 7 Steps to Your Best Possible Healthcare, and holds degrees in public health. She is also an attorney. In 7 Steps, Russo describes a process founded on VVMS: values, vision, and mission statement. She states, "By applying your own values to healthcare decision making, you are more likely to have positive and beneficial experiences wherever you seek care." Throughout the book Russo uses her familyís experiences with illness to provide true-life examples of the effectiveness of this strategy.

The author explains how to make the patientsí bill of rights work for you; describes the most common medical, dental, and mental health specialties; and even includes a basic explanation of medical jargon and insurance billing codes. She explains how health insurance plans work, tells how to locate health plan ratings and comparisons online, and where to find quality checks on physicians and hospitals. This book has everything you need to confidently play a decisive role during your next healthcare interaction.

While the book is authoritative, its tone is warm and conversational, written in understandable language. The author also encourages the use of complementary and alternative medicine as a worthy component of healthcare management, which I find refreshing.

Donít let the clinical-looking cover (my only complaint) discourage you from buying this book. It is a thing of beauty within, and an indispensable field guide when dealing with The Beast.

The Book

DJ Iber Publishing
Jan 2008
0-9799061-0-5 / 978-0-9799061-0-7
Nonfiction / Health
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The Reviewer

Deb Kincaid
Reviewed 2008
© 2008