Lisa Berry Blackstock

Lisa Berry Blackstock

About Lisa

“Soul Sherpa is a patient healthcare advocacy, life care planning, and educational company, founded in 1990.”

Lisa Berry Blackstock, based in the Los Angeles area, is engaged nationally as a patient healthcare advocate, educator, and volunteer.  Lisa's company is Soul Sherpa, dedicated to patient healthcare advocacy, life care planning, and education.  Her mission is to assist her clients with information and autonomy when it comes to healthcare issues, preventive as well as presenting.  She is a published author, workshop presenter/speaker, and hands-on patient advocate.  Over 24 years of experience dealing with physicians, hospitals, medical insurance, and estate planning has resulted in Lisa's wealth of knowledge assisting individuals with successful strategies when navigating our healthcare system and remaining as financially and emotionally protected as possible.  Understanding the emotional and practical needs of patients and their loved ones has resulted in a successful brand, Soul Sherpa, whose goal is to add to the quality of life and well-being of all clients, despite the physical and emotional health challenges everyone is forced to face at some point in life.  A strong proponent of advance healthcare planning, Lisa has advised hundreds of people how to address this sensitive issue.  Failure to address advance healthcare planning, by default, subjects an individual to the planning of others.  Whether one's concerns are proactive or the need to address a healthcare issue already presented, Lisa is an experienced patient advocate in all realms involving physician care, medication management, safe hospital discharge, medical insurance policy and billing issues, maintaining quality of life, and, in the event of a terminal diagnosis, a certified palliative care specialist and grief and bereavement counselor.  Lisa serves on the Patient Safety Committee of a major Los Angeles medical center, and is well versed in today's healthcare challenges.

Education

BA, Communication, Stanford University
Extra Credit, Physical and Emotional Health, UCLA Extension
Certification, Grief and Bereavement Managemnt, The Grief Recovery Institute

Certifications

*Disclaimer: Soul Sherpa does not provide medical, legal, financial, or insurance advice that is intended to replace the recommendations of physicians, attorneys, financial advisers, or insurance brokers.  Soul Sherpa provides information intended to assist individuals with sound and comprehensive evaluation and management of professional advice previously provided.  After consulting with Soul Sherpa, responsibility for any decision made lies with each individual, who agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Lisa Berry Blackstock, founder and owner of Soul Sherpa. 



Typical Clients

Doctors/physicians People near retirement Widows/widowers

How I Can Help

Personal Finance Insurance Healthcare

Fee Structure

Fee-only Hourly Asset-based Commissions Other Contingency
Learn more about how advisors are paid in our Guide to Advisor Compensation.

Typical minimum Client Assets:

No preference

Contact:

Phone: (818) 403-3801 Address: 5739 Kanan Road, #128
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
lisaberryb@stanfordalumni.org

Lisa has answered 34 questions

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Lisa Berry Blackstock
Answer added by Lisa Berry Blackstock | 144 views
4 out of 4 found this helpful

Assuming the dermatologist accepts Medicare and your AARP supplement as payment in full (this is called

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Assuming the dermatologist accepts Medicare and your AARP supplement as payment in full (this is called "accepting assignment" and should ALWAYS be confirmed with a physician's office BEFORE receiving treatment; I recommend you ask this question now) there may very well be an error in the manner in which your bill was coded, as the cost seems inflated to me.  Ask your dermatologist's billing person for an itemized copy of what was submitted to Medicare, where 80% of the cost is covered (Medicare will pass the information on to your supplemental carrier, who will cover the remaining 20% cost that Medicare doesn't cover.)  Should you discover the doctor does accept assignment and the bill for services was coded correctly, I would appeal directly with the doctor's office (in writing) asking the balance be "written off" by them.  Even if you had seen the doctor and not a nurse, the charge is out of line.  If your request is not granted, I would report the doctor to your state's attorney general as well as your state's medical board which oversees physicians' conduct.  In the future, before going to any doctor appointment, I would ask for a written quote of what your visit will cost, as well as whether that doctor accepts assignment.  Protect yourself before you seek treatment whenever possible, and get that information in writing.

Lisa Berry Blackstock
Answer added by Lisa Berry Blackstock | 144 views
2 out of 2 found this helpful

Best to confirm with Blue Cross directly to verify their coverage plan for you covers 80%, which is typical

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Best to confirm with Blue Cross directly to verify their coverage plan for you covers 80%, which is typical for primary medical insurance coverage.  For the remaining 20% you need to purchase what is known as a Medicare supplemental policy, which covers the remaining 20% of hospital and physician costs.  Supplements are priced differently.  Before purchasing a policy, be certain you know what hospitals and physicians will accept that policy.  Another strategy to avoid finding yourself in a bad situation is to execute an Advanced Health Care Directive, HIPAA release, and POLST (Physician's Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment.)  While not sexy to deal with, execution of these documents while you are healthy will guarantee your stated wishes will be followed in the event you are unable to state them yourself.  By not having these documents in place, by default, you will find yourself at the mercy of other healthcare professionals making decisions on your behalf.  That would be very bad.

Lisa Berry Blackstock
Answer added by Lisa Berry Blackstock | 44 views
2 out of 2 found this helpful

I am so sorry to learn of your situation.  I understand your desire to lower your insurance premium. 

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I am so sorry to learn of your situation.  I understand your desire to lower your insurance premium.  Given you're in need of good care right now, please understand the lower your premium, the fewer benefits you will receive by quality providers.  I would begin at the point of assessing your medical care needs, WHO you want to provide that care, and what insurance they accept.  Also research other providers.  Before you change policies, be certain you know what providers your new insurance will cover.  I don't recommend sacrificing quality care for the sake of saving two or three hundred dollars per month.  When one suffers a stroke, there is a one-year window to recover.  I recommend you do everything you can to take advantage of this window to hopefully regain at least some of what your stroke took away from you.  Stay focused. Surround yourself with as much emotional support you can.  My best to you.

Lisa Berry Blackstock
Answer added by Lisa Berry Blackstock | 85 views
1 out of 1 found this helpful

The price will depend upon the facility you select to have your MRI performed.  Each hospital, every

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The price will depend upon the facility you select to have your MRI performed.  Each hospital, every diagnostic center, every doctor, has the ability to charge whatever they want, regardless of your insurance coverage.  Their price list is private and called a Chargemaster.  No one regulates it.  This is one of the biggest tragedies setting back true universal healthcare coverage.  I recommend you contact two or three places where you can have your MRI performed.  Tell them up front who your insurance is and ask what they will charge you.  Bargain with the two or three centers like you would an auto dealership for a car.  Once these diagnostic centers know they are competing against each other, each will likely lower their price.  They are in business to make a profit.  When you select a center to perform your test, ask them to put their cost in writing for you and ask what their billing code will be when they bill your medical insurance carrier.  Call your insurance company, tell them the number of the billing code, and ask for their price.  Your policy should cover part of the procedure.  Once you know what your insurance company will/won't cover, then you will know your true out-of-pocket cost BEFORE your procedure.  You won't have any unpleasant surprises.  Good luck.  I hope this helps you.

Lisa Berry Blackstock
Answer added by Lisa Berry Blackstock | 82 views
1 out of 1 found this helpful

Before paying any medical bill, always request an itemized copy of the charges comprising the bill.  

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Before paying any medical bill, always request an itemized copy of the charges comprising the bill.   You want to check for any duplicate billings, as well as the proper insurance bill coding for each charge.  Confirm that your annual deductible amount paid to date is correct.  Assuming all these areas are correct (and the likelihood of that is remote, in which case you should request a completely new and accurate bill) you can negotiate your portion due by offering a one-time lump sum cash payment, which will almost always be discounted.  Good luck to you.

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