Welcome to our collaboration with Consumer Reports
OPERS is proud to join in the Choosing Wisely campaign to help retirees make informed decisions about their health care. Choosing Wisely is focused on encouraging patients and physicians to think and talk about medical tests and procedures that may be unnecessary, and in some instances can cause harm. The resources within these pages are designed to spur conversation and produce meaningful results. Being an active part of the healthcare team is critical, and we hope that the resources here help you become an informed and empowered patient or caregiver.
In addition to the Choosing Wisely® campaign materials, Consumer Reports has also compiled resources on hospital safety, money saving guidelines and advice for caregivers—just to name a few.
Explore the tabs at the left for more information on how you can take charge of your own healthcare.
Be Aware - Common Chronic Conditions
- EKGs and Exercise Stress Tests
- Heart Imaging Tests Before Surgery
- Heart Stress Tests Before Chest Surgery
- Imaging Tests After a Heart Procedure
- Imaging Tests for Heart Disease
- Lab Tests Before Surgery
- Medical Tests Before Eye Surgery
- Stress Tests After Procedures
- Stress Tests Before Surgery
- Stress Tests for Chest Pain
- Type 2 Diabetes Drugs
- Breast Biopsy
- CT Scans to Find Lung Cancer in Smokers
- Hard Decisions About Cancer
- Imaging and Blood Tests in Early Breast Cancer
- Imaging Tests for Early Prostate Cancer
- Imaging Tests for Ovarian Cysts
- Making Smart Decisions About Genetic Testing
- PET Scans After Cancer Treatment
- PSA Test for Prostate Cancer
- Screening Tests for Ovarian Cancer
- Screening Tests: When you need them, when you don’t
- Sentinel Node Biopsy for Breast Cancer
- Whole-Body Scans to Screen for Cancer
- Advice for Caregivers: Treatments and Tests for Seniors
- Ask Your Doctor: Do I need this cancer test or treatment?
- Cancer Tests and Treatments to Question
- Cancer Tests and Treatments: When you need them, when you don’t
- Care at the End of Life for Advanced Cancer Patients
- Drugs to Prevent Infection During Chemotherapy
- Medicines to Relieve Chronic Pain
- Medicines to Treat Cancer
- Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Radiation for Cancer
- Radiation Therapy for Breast and Gynecologic Cancers
- Radiation Therapy for Cancer
- Treating Low-Risk Prostate Cancer
- Palliative Care
Advice for caregivers about treatments and tests for seniors
If you are caring for an aging relative or friend, you want to help all you can. You may urge the doctors to try every possible treatment. But as seniors get close to the end of their lives, “quality of life” may be more important than living a little bit longer.
This roundup of medical issues and tips will help you and your loved one make decisions about getting the best care.
We also provide a guide to palliative and hospice care.
Planning for treatment
Educational resources we created to help patients, caregivers and doctors discuss treatment options.
• Advice for Caregivers
• Alzheimer’s Disease Testing
• Antibiotics for Urinary Tract Infections in Older People
• Antipsychotic Drugs for People with Dementia
• Cholesterol Drugs for People Over 75
• Drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis
• Feeding Tubes for People with Alzheimer’s
• Home Oxygen After a Hospital Stay
• Kidney Disease
• Palliative Care
• Sleeping Pills for Insomnia and Anxiety in Older People
Consumer Reports Video
High Value Care
Patient-centered medical homes seek to provide comprehensive, continuous, well-coordinated care to patients.
Hospital Survival Guide
You can reduce the chance for safety errors while you’re in the hospital. Use the following guides to prepare for your hospital stay.
Planning for a hospital visit can lead to better care and faster care. So use that time to take these steps.
Besides taking care of financial and insurance questions, make sure you take these five steps at your hospital check-in.
Six steps to help you get the right follow-up care and avoid being readmitted soon to the hospital.
Reduce your chance of being re-admitted to the hospital by following these steps when you check out.
These eight steps can help improve hospital-patient safety.
Increase your odds of staying healthy by getting hospital staff to listen to you and treat you with respect.
Money Saving Guidelines
These guides help patients make effective, safe, money saving choices when purchasing or taking prescription medications.
Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs’ in-depth guide to finding the best medication to treat your condition.
A generic is a copy of a brand-name drug. When the brand-name patent runs out other companies can make generic versions of the drug. Drug companies spend billions of dollars advertising brand-name drugs, like Lipitor and Celebrex. But often you can get a generic drug that works just as well – and costs much less!
There are things you can do to save money on drugs—and sometimes a lot of money.
If your health plan covers prescription drugs, it will have a list of the drugs it covers. This list is called a preferred drug list, or formulary. Using your plan’s formulary will help you save money on your drugs.
The more drugs you take, the more likely you are to have a problem.
Do you need help paying for prescription drugs? You may qualify for a Prescription Assistance Program (PAP).
If you’d like to read more about prescription drugs, visit Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs. The Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs project provides consumers and their doctor’s information to help guide prescription drug choices – based on effectiveness, a drug’s track record, safety and price.
This information is meant to help you become a smarter, more active patient. We hope it will help you understand when tests and treatments are necessary — and when they aren’t.
This poster offers five questions that patients should ask their doctor before agreeing to any medical test or procedure. It promotes conversations about what care is needed.
Pointers for having an engaging, collaborative conversation with your doctor to get the most out of your appointment.
Other Choosing Wisely Materials
The complete set of Choosing Wisely resources for patients and their families can be found here.