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My Person! My People! Building Partnerships, Expanding Your Practice

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My Person! My People! Building Partnerships, Expanding Your Practice

Are you a TV watcher?  I am. Big time. I love TV.  And because of that, more often than I care to admit, I draw inspiration from TV shows and characters. (As a side confession here, we’ve been binge-watching The West Wing, and have found that comparing it to today’s presidential politics is like marrying whiplash to an out-of-body experience. Right? But I digress….) Today we’re going to draw inspiration from three very different, very diverse TV personalities or characters:  weatherman Al Roker from the Today Show, Elmo from Sesame Street, and Meredith Gray of Gray’s Anatomy. Stay tuned… we’ll return to them in a moment after a word from… Partnerships. Yes – that’s today’s word: partnerships! If Elmo was here, that’s what he would tell you. Today we are emphasizing the concept of partnership and collaboration. This is a topic I’ve raised before, but it definitely bears repeating. In the past few weeks I’ve had several reminders of this, when I’ve heard questions from new or wanna be advocates and care managers such as: What do I do if someone asks me to do something I can’t do? My client asked me to get her insurance claim approved. Who do I call? Where can I take a course in medical billing adjustment and negotiation? If my client wants me to research clinical trails, where do I start? So what it is all these questions have in common? They stem from two ideas that require rethinking: That one advocate can or should perform every service a client needs. He or she should not because they cannot possibly be competent in all areas of advocacy. That learning how to perform a difficult service such as medical bill reconciliation, or claim resolution, or shared decision-making can be learned from taking a course. Taking a course is a great start, but observation and practice are also necessary before making promises to a client. There are three important reasons those ideas require adjustment. It is against our Health Advocate Code of Ethics and Standards to perform work outside one’s competencies. If you aren’t skilled…


 

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