Head to Head, Toe to Toe – And Who Are the Big Winners?

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Head to Head, Toe to Toe – And Who Are the Big Winners?

Like Jeopardy, I’m going to start by giving you the answer: Patients and Caregivers Smart Health and Patient Advocates So what’s the question?  That would be:  Who are the biggest beneficiaries when it comes to competition in the health and patient advocate space? Just want to start with that perspective so we don’t lose sight of it as I begin describing recent events, as a prelude to some big excitement and perhaps, that moment we’ve all been waiting for…. In the eight years I’ve been working on promoting patient advocacy, there was more commotion, more positive movement, more negative noise, and perhaps the most excitement I have seen in the marketplace for patient advocates in just the past 10 days. Quite amazing, really. That’s the good news. The bad news?  Sadly, much of it was reported to me in anger and frustration, as if it was a problem – a negative – as in “how could they?”  It’s that C word – competition!  As if competition is a negative thing. It is not a negative thing – or – at least – it shouldn’t be.  In fact, if anything, competition should be embraced for a number of reasons, with a few whys and hows below. Here’s what happened that put this on my radar, to give you some sense of my excitement: I heard about three new initiatives that are building directories for patient advocates. That would make them AdvoConnection competition – head to head and toe to toe, right? Some of you would instantly think, “uh-oh – I’ll bet Trisha is upset!” – to which I would answer – no, not at all!  I’m actually quite excited. (You’ll better understand this in a minute.) I also heard about two large initiatives that want to roll out free patient advocacy services to the general public. One was reported to me by someone who is a private advocate now, with moderate success, who is ready to throw in the towel. How can she compete with free?  To which I say – hey! Not so fast!  Let’s think about this! Agreed –…

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