Get Organized

CURE, Supplement 2013, Volume 0, Issue 0

Get tips on keeping information, receipts, notes and legal papers organized and accessible.

The amount of paper generated by a cancer diagnosis can quickly become overwhelming. Below are tips for keeping information organized and accessible:

Develop a filing system. It could be as simple as a three-ring binder or as complex as an electronic spreadsheet. Designate a section for each area related to cancer care, such as medical procedures, charge summaries, deductibles paid, health insurance, personal details and contact information. Include a calendar with appointments noted. Have a separate file or section for each medical center or treatment facility. Keep all receipts, records and requests, regardless of how insignificant they may seem.

Create a summary. Include the official treatment regimen and any other regularly needed information that may be helpful when filing claims or resolving billing issues.

Ask the insurance company for a case manager. Make notes of all conversations, including dates, names and other appropriate details. Identify one person in each billing office to communicate with.

Estimate a budget. Include potential loss of income from missed work, expenses not covered by insurance and increased daily living costs.

Make sure all insurance policies are current and correct. Always refer to them by name and number in all communications.

Ask for help. Friends and family members can coordinate regular monthly bills so more attention can be devoted to insurance issues.

Make a list of tasks that need to be completed. Check them off the list when they are accomplished.