Patient Guide
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Road Map To American Health Care
  •  You The Patient
  •  Who Pays For You
  •  Who Manages Your Health Dollars
  •  Who Takes Care Of You

Tips For The Consumer
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  •  Questions To Ask Your Doctor
  •  Choosing A Health Plan
  •  Getting Children Enrolled
  •  Choosing A Medicare HMO
  •  Tips From the Experts

Questions For Candidates

Help In Your Hometown

National Organizations
  •  Disease Groups
  •  Specific Populations

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National Health Care Organizations and Consumer Health Advocacy Groups

Associations

American Association of Retired Persons -- AARP
601 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20049
Toll Free: 800-424-3410
Phone: 202-434-AARP (2277)
Fax: 202-434-6490
http://www.aarp.org
Formerly the American Association of Retired People, AARP is a national advocacy organization for people aged 50 and over. A network of local chapters and volunteers provides education, advocacy, and community services.

American Medical Association
515 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Phone: 312-464-5000
Fax: 312-464-4184
http://www.ama-assn.org
Information about health and fitness, journals/publications, doctor finder.

Grantmakers In Health (GIH)
1100 Connecticut Ave., NW
Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-452-8331
Fax: 202-452-8340
http://www.gih.org
Grantmakers in Health's mission is to help foundations and corporate giving programs improve the nation's health. It works to build knowledge, skills, and effectiveness of individual grant makers and the field of health philanthropy.

National Governors Association -- Center For Best Practices
444 North Capitol Street, NW
Suite 267
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-/624-5300
Fax: 202-624-5313
http://www.nga.org
The mission of the NGA Center for Best Practices is to help Governors and their key policy staff develop and implement innovative solutions to governance and policy challenges facing them in their states Through the staff of the NGA Center, Governors and their policy advisors can: quickly learn about what works, what doesn't, and what lessons can be learned from others grappling with the same problems; obtain assistance in designing and implementing new programs or in making current programs more effective; and receive up-to-date information about what is happening in other state capitals and in Washington, D.C., so Governors are better prepared to react to emerging issues.

National Quality Forum
1875 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 640
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202-332-7014
Fax: 202-332-1435
info@qualityforum.org
http://www.qualityforum.org
The National Quality Forum is a not-for-profit membership organization, founded in response to a presidential advisory commission report on consumer protection and quality in the health care industry. The organization is working to achieve broad consensus by all health system stakeholders on issues such as medical error reduction, safe practices, and hospital performance measurement.

National Rural Health Association
National Office
One West Armour Blvd., Suite 203
Kansas City, MO 64111
Phone: 816- 756-3140
Fax: 816-756-3144
mail@NRHArural.org
http://www.nrharural.org/
Washington, D.C. Office
1320 19th St., N.W., Suite 350
Washington, D.C. 20036-1620
Phone: 202-232-6200
Fax: 202 232-1133
dc@NRHArural.org The National Rural Health Association is a national membership organization whose mission is to improve the health and health care of rural Americans and to provide leadership on rural issues through advocacy, communications, education and research. The association provides a forum for the exchange and dissemination of ideas, information, research and methods to improve rural health

Foundations

Alliance Healthcare Foundation
9325 Sky Park Court, Suite 350
San Diego, CA 92123
Phone: 858-874-3788
Fax: 858-874-3656
http://www.alliancehf.org
development@alliancehf.org
The mission of the Alliance Healthcare Foundation is to improve access to health care for all people, especially for those who are medically indigent. The Foundation funds programs that address the healthcare needs of the underserved and works to educate the general community about critical healthcare problems.

The Commonwealth Fund
One East 75th St.
New York, NY 10021-2692
Phone: 212-606-3800
Fax: 212-606-3500
Cmwf@cmwf.org
www.cmwf.org
http://www.commonwealthfund.org
Dedicated to improving health care services nationally, bettering the health of minority Americans, advancing the well-being of elderly people, and developing the capacities of children and young people.
http://www.cmwf.org/programs/medicare/index.asp
Program on Medicare's Future. This program provides analysis on trends and options to address the future of Medicare, studies on major issues in the growth of Medicare managed care and private plans, and details the impact of policies on beneficiaries.

FACCT - The Foundation for Accountability
520 SW 6th Ave., Suite 700
Portland, OR 97204
Phone: 503-223-2228
Fax: 503-223-4336
info@facct.org
http://www.facct.org
A non-profit organization dedicated to helping Americans make better health care decisions

Grantmakers in Health
1100 Connecticut Ave. NW
Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-452-8331
Fax: 202-452-8340
http://www.gih.org
Grantmakers in Health's mission is to help foundations and corporate giving programs improve the nation's health. It works to build knowledge, skills, and effectiveness of individual grant makers and the feild of health philanthropy.

Kaiser Family Foundation
2400 Sand Hill Road
Menlo Park, CA 90425
Phone: 650-854-9400 Fax: 650-854-4800
http://www.kff.org
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation is an independent philanthropy focusing on the major health care issues facing the nation. The Foundation is an independent voice and source of facts and analysis for policymakers, the media, the health care community, and the general public.
http://www.kff.org/sections.cgi?section=medicare
Medicare Policy Project.
This Project of the KFF conducts and supports research and analysis on current Medicare policy issues, monitors key trends, and produces fact sheets, resource books and reports to inform policy discussions.

Public Health Foundation
1220 L Street, NW Suite 350
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-898-5600
Fax: 202-898-5609
http://www.phf.org
A non-profit organization dedicated to achieving healthy communities through objective research, training and technical assistance to health agencies and other community health system organizations.

Policy Organizations and Government Agencies

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Executive Office Center, Suite 501
2101 East Jefferson St.
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: 301-594-1364 email-info@ahrq.gov
http://www.ahcpr.gov
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) research provides evidence-based information on health care outcomes; quality; and cost, use, and access. Information from AHRQ's research helps people make more informed decisions and improve the quality of health care services. AHRQ was formerly known as the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.

Alliance for Health Reform
1900 L Street NW, Suite 512
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-466-5626
Fax: 202- 466-6525
http://www.allhealth.org/home.htm
Aims to be an unbiased source of information for members of the public and opinion leaders so they can understand the roots of the nation's health care problems and the trade-offs posed by competing proposals for change. AHR provides objective information in a number of formats to journalists, elected officials and their staffs, and other shapers of public opinion.

Alpha Center
1350 Connecticut Ave. NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-296-1818
Fax: 202-296-1825
si@ac.org
1801 K Street NW
Suite 701-L
Washington, DC 20006
http://www.ac.org
A non-partisan, non-profit health policy center that serves as a resource for public and private leaders across the country and specializes in the dissemination of health research findings to national, state, and local policymakers.

Center for Health Care Strategies
353 Nassau Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
Phone: 609-279-0700
Fax: 609-279-0956
mail@chcs.org
http://www.chcs.org
A non-profit, non-partisan policy resource center to promote the development and implementation of effective health and social policy for all Americans. Focuses on Medicaid managed care programs, building health systems for people with chronic illness, and improving asthma care for children.

Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
Ford House Office Building
Second and D Streets, SW
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-226-2600
Fax: 202-226-2714
http://www.cbo.gov/
CBO provides the Congress with nonpartisan analyses needed for economic and budget decisions. CBO produces many reports on the Medicare program.

General Accounting Office (GAO)
441 G. Street NW
Washington, DC 20548
Phone: 202-512-4800
http://www.gao.gov/
GAO assists the Congress in overseeing the operations of federal programs including the Medicare program.

Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA)
7500 Security Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21244-1850
Toll Free: 800-633-4227
http://www.hcfa.gov/medicare/medicare.htm
HCFA is the federal agency that administers the Medicare program. The HCFA website provides a range of information for everyone from beneficiaries to policymakers.
http://www.hcfa.gov/medicare/medicare.htm

HCFA Information Clearinghouse
7500 Security Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21244
Toll Free: 800-633-4227
http://www.hcfa.gov
Provides information on Medicare, Medicaid, and Child Health insurance programs.

Medicare Home Page
Toll Free: 1-800-633-4227
http://www.medicare.gov
The official U.S. Government website for consumer information on the Medicare program. The site is a great resource for information on Medicare, Medigap, and Medicare managed care plans.

Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC)
1730 K Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202-653-7220
Fax: 202-653-7238
http://www.medpac.gov/
MedPAC is an independent federal body that advises the U.S. Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program.

National Coalition on Health Care
1200 G Street, NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-638-7151
Fax: 202-638-7166
http://www.nchc.org
A nonpartisan coalition of businesses, labor unions, consumer and religious groups, and primary care providers committed to improving health care by helping the public, opinion leaders and policymakers understand the possibilities for improving out health care system.

Social Security and Medicare Trust Fund Reports.
Toll Free: 1-800-772-1213
http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/
These reports, produced by the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Office of the Actuary, present the financial outlook of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: 202/619-1343
Curtis Wilkins
http://www.dhhs.gov
HHS also has a free gateway to consumer health and human services information: www.healthfinder.gov links to online publications, clearinghouses, databases, web sites, and support and self-help groups as well as government agencies and not-for-profit organizations.
http://www.scipich.org
The HHS has a web site that shows how to evaluate Internet sites.

U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on Commerce.
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-2927
Fax: 202-225-1919
http://www.house.gov/commerce/
One of the three Committees of Congress with jurisdiction over the Medicare Program.

U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on Ways and Means
1102 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
http://www.house.gov/ways_means/
One of the three Committees of Congress with jurisdiction over the Medicare Program.

U.S. Senate. Committee on Finance
http://www.senate.gov/~finance/
One of the three Committees of Congress with jurisdiction over the Medicare Program.

U.S. Senate. Special Committee on Aging.
G31 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-6400
Phone: 202-224-5364
Fax: 202-224-8660
http://www.senate.gov/~aging/
The committee studies issues related to the "problems and opportunities of older people". This includes examination of issues related to the Medicare program.

Hospitals and Doctors

American Academy of Family Physicians
11400 Tomahawk Creek Parkway
Leawood, KS 66211-2672
Phone: 913-906-6000
Fax: 913-906-6077
email: fp@aafp.org
http://www.aafp.org
The American Academy of Family Physicians is the national association of family doctors. It is one of the largest national medical organizations, with more than 89,400 members. The Academy was founded in 1947 to promote and maintain high quality standards for family doctors who are providing continuing comprehensive health care to the public.

The Academy's major purposes include:
  • Providing advocacy for and education of patients and the public in health related matters
  • Preserving and promoting quality cost-effective health care
  • Promoting and maintaining high standards among family practice physicians

Physicians for a National Health Program
332 South Michigan Ave., Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 312-554-0382
Fax: 312-554-0383
http://www.pnhp.org
An organization of health care providers and consumers opposed to corporate control over medicine and committed to the implementation of a single payer, national health insurance program in the US.

Patient Advocacy and Consumer Groups

Center for Health Care Rights
520 S. Lafayette Park Place, Suite 214
Los Angeles, CA 90057
Phone: 213-383-4519
Fax: 213-383-4598
http://www.healthcarerights.org
A consumer advocacy organization which conducts research and analysis to increase consumer health care protections.

Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc.
P.O. Box 350
Willimantic, CT 06220
Phone 860-456-7790
Phone in Washington: 202-216-0028
http://www.medicareadvocacy.org
The Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization that provides education, advocacy, and legal assistance to help elders and people with disabilities obtain necessary healthcare. They focus on the needs of Medicare beneficiaries, people with chronic conditions, and those in need of long-term care. The organization is involved in education, training and litigation activities of importance to Medicare beneficiaries nationwide.

Center for Patient Advocacy
1350 Beverly Road, Suite 108
McLean, VA 22101
Toll Free: 1-800-846-7444
Phone 703-748-0400 x23
Fax 703-748-0402
http://www.patientadvocacy.org
A non-profit Patients Rights group lobbying for health care reform, counseling patients, consumer information, resource referral on the state level, empowering health care consumers.

Consumers Union
1666 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20009-1039
Phone: 202-462-6262
Fax: 202-265-9548
Gail Schearer
Phone: 202-462-6262
Fax: 202-265-9548
101 Truman Ave.
Yonkers, NY 10703-1057
Phone: 914-378-2000
http://www.consumersunion.org
An independent, nonprofit testing and information organization serving only consumers in various areas including health care generally and Medicare specifically.

Families USA
1334 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005-3107
Ron Pollack
Phone: 202-628-3030
Fax: 202-347-2417
http://www.familiesusa.org
A national nonprofit, non-partisan organization that works toward the achievement of high-quality, affordable health and long-term care for all Americans by working at the national, state, and grassroots levels.

HealthGrades.com
44 Union Blvd., Suite 600
Lakewood, CO 80228
Phone: 303-716-0049
Fax: 303-716-1298
http://www.healthgrades.com
Provides help in choosing a health care plan

Medicare Rights Center
1460 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
Phone: 212-869-3850
http://www.medicarerights.org
A not-for-profit organization that works to ensure that older adults and people with disabilities with Medicare get good, affordable health care. MRC has a hotline for answering questions about Medicare.

National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)
2000 L Street NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-955-3500
Fax: 202-955-6428
http://www.ncqa.org
A non-profit group dedicated to assessing and reporting the quality of the nations managed health care plans.

National Health Council
1730 M Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036-4505
Phone: 202-785-3910
http://www.spry.org/NHC.HTm
Providing referrals to voluntary health agencies, patient rights and responsibilities

NHeLP -- National Health Law Program
2639 South La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Phone: 310-204-6010
Fax: 301-204-0891

1101 14th St., NW, Suite 405
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-289-7661
Fax: 202-289-7724
nheldpdc@haelthlaw.org

211 North Columbia St., Second Floor
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Phone: 919-986-6308
Fax: 919-968-8855

nhelp@healthlaw.org
http://www.healthlaw.org
a national public interest law firm that seeks to improve health care for America's working and unemployed poor, minorities, the elderly and people with disabilities. NHeLP serves legal services programs, community-based organizations, the private bar, providers and individuals who work to preserve a health care safety net for the millions of uninsured or underinsured low-income people.
N-Help does not provide individual legal assistance

Political Lobbying

Alliance for Health Reform
1900 L Street NW, Suite 512
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-466-5626
Fax: 202-466-6525
http://www.allhealth.org/home.htm
A non-partisan, non-profit group that provides information to journalists, elected officials and their staffs, and others about a range of health reform issues including Medicare.

Committee to Defend Health Care
649 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 8
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 616-576-7741
Fax: 617-354-1961
http://www.defendhealthcare.org
This organization's site provides links to national news and information as well as several beneficial reports on information from the uninsured to managed care and health insurance.

Center for Health Care Strategies
353 Nassau Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
Phone: 609-279-0700
Fax: 609-279-0956
http://www.chcs.org
Site covers The Medicaid Managed Care Program, Chronic Illness, Children in Managed Care, A Resource Center, and publications by its grantees

The Pacific Business Group on Health
221 Main Street, Suite 1500
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415-281-8660
Fax: 415-281-0960
info@pbgh.org
http://www.pbgh.org
The Pacific Business group on Health is a non-profit coalition of employers dedicated to improving the quality of health care while moderating costs. The Pacific Business Group on Health is responsive to the needs of its member companies and their employees, and is mindful of its role in the community.
PBGH uses the combined resources of its member companies to identify health care and business trends, assess the impact of those trends, and recommend practical steps businesses can take. PBGH works closely with payors, providers, researchers, and others to achieve the highest quality and most cost-effective health care. The group works collaboratively with all purchasers in California and coalitions throughout the country.

Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP)
332 South Michigan Ave., Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 312-554-0382
Fax: 312-554-0383
http://www.pnhp.org
An organization of health care providers and consumers opposed to corporate control over medicine and committed to the implementation of a single payer, national health insurance program in the US.
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
1313 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-898-3263
Fax: 202-898-3403
http://www.seiu.org
The largest union of health care workers in the US which fights for workers' and patients' rights, with the ultimate goal of obtaining a health care system that provides quality, affordable care for all.
Universal Health Care Action Network
Universal Health Care 2000 Campaign
2800 Euclid Ave, Suite 520
Cleveland, OH 44115-2418
Toll Free: 800-634-4442
Phone: 216-902-5577
Fax: 216-241-8423
Info@u2kcampaign.org
http://www.u2kcampaign.org
uhcan@uhcan.org
www.uhcan.org
A network of individuals and organizations, local and national, committed to achieving health care for all through providing resources to activists and facilitating the development of strategies for health care justice.

Publications and Media Organizations

Health Affairs Magazine
The Policy Journal of the Health Sphere
7500 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 600
Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: 301-656-7401
Fax: 301-654-2845
healthaffairs@projhope.org
Health Affairs is America's leading journal of health policy and managed care. At this web site you can link to current and back issues of this informative magazine.

Journal of the American Medical Association
515 N State Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Phone: 312-464-4416
http://www.jama.com
The Journal of the American Medical Association's key objective is to promote the science and art of medicine and the betterment of the public health. At this web site you can link to current and back issues of this informative magazine.

New England Journal of Medicine
860 Winter Street
Waltham, MA 02451
Phone: 781-893-3800
Fax: 781-893-8103
htpp://www.nejm.org.
This web site offers links to current and back issues of this informative magazine.

Research Groups

Center for the Advancement of Health
2000 Florida Ave, N.W. Suite 210
Washington, D.C. 20009-1231
Phone: 202-387-2829
Fax: 202-387-2857
http://www.cfah.org
e-mail: cfah@cfah.org
Biobehavioral Research

Center for Studying Health System Change
600 Maryland Avenue SW, Suite 550
Washington, DC 20024-2512
Phone: 202-484-5261
Fax: 202-484-9258
http://www.hschange.com
The Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) is a Washington based research organization dedicated to studying how the country's health care systems are changing and how these changes are affecting people at the community level. The Center is investigating what is happening in health care financing and delivery at the community level. HSC's mission is to inform public and private sector decision makers in health care through the development and dissemination of sound, objective information on the nature of change in the health care system and its effects on people.

Public Citizen's Health Research Group
1600 20th St., NW
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202-588-1000
Fax: 202-588-7799
Director: Mr. Sidney Wolf
http://www.citizen.org/hrg/
Public Citizen is a consumer advocacy organization founded by Ralph Nader. Public Citizen works on a variety of issues, including campaign finance reform and government ethics; the role of federal regulating agencies in ensuring the health and safety of citizens; the legal right of citizens; corporate accountability; international trade; and the promotion of clean and safe energy sources.

Other Health Care Organizations

American Council on Science and Health
1995 Broadway, Second Floor
New York, NY 10023-5860
Phone: 212-362-7044
Fax: 212-362-4919
http://www.acsh.org
The American Council on Science and Health, Inc. (ACSH) is a consumer education consortium concerned with issues related to food, nutrition, chemical, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle, the environment and health. ASCH is an independent, nonprofit organization

National Health Care for the Homeless Council, Inc.
HCH Clinicians' Network
P.O. Box 60427
Nashville, TN 37206-0427
Phone: 615-226-2292
Fax: 615-226-1656
http://www.nhchc.org
Email: council@nhchc.org
The National Health Care for the Homeless Council is a membership organization of health care providers working with homeless people across the United States. The Council exists to help bring about reform of the health care system to best serve the needs of people who are homeless. Towards that end, the Council works in alliance with others whose broader purpose is to eliminate homelessness and provides support to National Council members.

National Health Information Center (NHIC)
P.O. Box 133
Washington, DC 20013-1133
Toll Free: 800-336-4797
Phone: 301-565-4167
Fax: 301-984-4256
http://www.nhic-nt.health.org
nhicinfo@health.org
An easy to use site with numerous health links. Utilizing a database which contains descriptions of health related organizations, the NHIC staff refer inquiries to the most appropriate resource.

National Health Policy Forum (NHPF)
2021 K Street, NW Suite 800
Washington, DC 20052
Phone: 202-872-1390
Fax: 202-862-9837
http://www.nhpf.org/
The NHPF is a bipartisan education and information exchange program primarily serving federal legislative and executive agency staff working in health care and related areas. NHPF produces work on the Medicare program.


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