Know the questions. Questions, answers and health tips for the Hispanic community

Imagine buying a new product. You look for the clerk at the store and ask all kinds of questions. However, when seeing the doctor, you don’t ask questions because you’re not sure what to ask, or you’re too embarrassed to ask. Sounds familiar? Let’s face it, many in our Hispanic community prefer to ask a coworker, friend or even a family member about health concerns or treatment advice rather than going to the doctor.

A Spanish Web site by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) can help the Hispanic community ask the right questions and improve communication with their doctors. Conozca las preguntas (Know the questions. Questions, answers and health tips for the Hispanic community) offers tips and sample questions to help prepare patients for their medical appointments. Patients can get biweekly tips on how to talk to their doctor. There’s also a Web site available for smart phones.

When you ask questions and talk openly with your doctor, you can improve not only your health, but your quality of care.

Energized by the SHIP Conference!

By Gretchen Lopez, Ohio SHIP Director

Imagine gracious Texas hospitality, great technical information, a new training tool called a “wafer” (no, it’s not a snack – it’s the new USB flash drive that looks like a credit card and holds 2 GB’s worth of training materials), informative updates on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) national initiatives, personal access to national partners and lively peer sharing.

Then add sizzling temperatures, mouth-watering barbeque and grazing longhorns near the outer belt, and you’ve visualized the 17th Annual State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) Directors’ Conference.

I had the pleasure of exploring the diversity of SHIP programs via breakout sessions. Over lunch, we talked about the important work we do, the growing demands for detailed reporting, and our aging population.

I came home energized and ready to implement some of the ideas that were shared, such as working with city mayors, using the Open Enrollment toolkit over the next several months to ramp up our volunteer involvement, and providing performance “dashboards” to our County Coordinators.

Thanks Patsy for being the perfect Dallas hostess, and CMS for providing a great conference!

Note: If you missed it, check out the presentation materials available online.

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