Deborah D. Gordon has spent her career trying to level the playing field for healthcare consumers. She is co-founder of Umbra Health Advocacy, a marketplace for patient advocacy services, and co-director of the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates, the premiere membership organization for independent advocates. She is the author of "The Health Care Consumer's Manifesto: How to Get the Most for Your Money," based on consumer research she conducted as a senior fellow in the Harvard Kennedy School's Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government. Deb previously spent more than two decades in healthcare leadership roles, including chief marketing officer for a Massachusetts health plan and CEO of a health technology company. Deb is an Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellow, an Eisenhower Fellow and a Boston Business Journal 40-under-40 honoree. Her contributions have appeared in JAMA Network Open, the Harvard Business Review blog, USA Today, RealClear Politics, The Hill and Managed Care Magazine. She earned a BA in bioethics from Brown University and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.Full Bio
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Trouble sleeping. Irritability. Unexplained weight gain. Hot flashes.
If you’re a woman in midlife, menopause symptoms can be brutal.
The good news: Consulting a healthcare provider (HCP) via telehealth can help you understand and manage your symptoms.
Here are 9 tips for getting the most out of your telehealth visit:
1. Choose a telehealth provider who understands menopause. If your HCP doesn’t, you may have other choices. There are telehealth companies that focus on menopause specifically.
2. Check your costs. Once you find an HCP, check to see if they accept your insurance. If not, find out about their cash price, which many telehealth companies publish clearly.
3. Set your expectations. Make sure you know what type of visit you’ll be getting. You may need to plan for multiple visits or set aside time for a longer initial visit.
4. Do your homework. Find out if the HCP wants you to get any blood tests before your visit so they can check your hormone levels.
5. Track your symptoms. Write down any new or changing symptoms, no matter how big or small, even if you’re not sure they’re related.
6. Collect your questions. Write down any questions you have ahead of time so you don’t forget anything.
7. Gather your health information. There’s no one right menopause treatment. What’s right for you may depend on:
- Family history
- Personal medical history
- Specific symptoms
- Medications you’re taking
Having this information ready will help you get the best medical care and guidance, especially with a new HCP.
8. Set yourself up right. Find a private spot where you can do the visit. You want to be somewhere you feel comfortable sharing your questions and experiences without fear of interruption or eavesdropping. Also make sure you have a solid internet connection or a backup plan if your Wi-Fi goes out.
It may help to schedule your appointment when no one will be home or when there won’t be a lot of people competing for internet bandwidth.
9. Stay in touch with yourself and your HCP. Menopause is a time of changes. Keeping tabs on how you’re feeling and sharing changes, progress or new worries with your HCP can help them adjust treatments and help you move through menopause more comfortably.
This educational resource was created with support from Astellas, a 2023 HealthyWomen Corporate Advisory Council member.
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