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Physicians Buying In – Bring on the Patient Advocates!
Posted in the APHA Discussion Forum by one of our member advocates, In the last week I have received calls from 2 potential clients whose physicians actually advised them to get a Patient Advocate! One was for medical insurance denials and the other was for patient navigation. It makes me really happy that physicians in my area are recognizing that we exist and can help their patients. Followed shortly thereafter by another advocate who observed, I know the clinicians I encounter learn to deeply appreciate my role-and, except for those who are dismissed, become more deeply engaged with my clients, who are their patients. MDs seem to be relieved with the presence of another pair of eyes scrutinizing the medical history, reviewing the pharmaceuticals (and my invariable submission of corrections to the medication record residing within the EHR), researching clinical guidelines, finding ways to better coordinate care, and averting potential catastrophes. And still another who added, We get lots of referrals from physicians. We just did a webinar for a group of physicians in our area. It’s a great way to get the word out. Glad to hear others are experiencing the same! So why is all this news, and why does it belong in this blog? A little history…. Early in the genesis of the great profession of patient advocacy, the story was quite different, and that, then, was also reflected in our discussion forum. At that time we were talking about the fact that physicians and nurses were often threatened by the presence of a patient advocate, both in the exam room and the hospital bedside. Physicians jumped to the conclusion that they would be second-guessed, while hospital personnel were afraid someone was planning to blow them in for substandard care. Now, I’m not going to address the paranoia here… but what I am going to address is this…. They were wrong! And they have figured that out! The tide began to turn early, but like all important things, it took some time to become mainstream. A few years ago, I was speaking to a large group of…