The Biggest Risk in Life: Are You Living the Life You Want to Live?

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The Biggest Risk in Life: Are You Living the Life You Want to Live?

A few days ago, I heard from Beatrice (not her real name), an APHA member who has been successfully running her patient advocacy practice for several years.  We met a few years ago when she and her husband attended APHA workshops. I’ve been impressed ever since with their go-getter attitudes and their ability to create the business they wanted to have. Until this week. Beatrice, a young advocate by our typical demographics (I’m guessing her age here… maybe late 40s? possibly 50) wrote to tell me she had suffered a heart attack in December. Yes. Really. She is now working to get back on her feet, which includes (as you can imagine) realigning her life. She has been told she must eliminate the stressors she deals with. Within the blink of an eye, Beatrice’s life changed dramatically. Suddenly all her hopes and dreams took on a new meaning, and will require a new approach, if they are possible at all. Here is the statement that will take some of you aback: Beatrice’s heart attack may well turn out to be a blessing in disguise. I say that because I know it to be true. I also “suffered” one of those blessings. In 2004 when I was diagnosed with lymphoma and given just a few months to live, it brought my life’s trajectory to a halt. Literally – a halt. As difficult and horrible as those next several months were, as I struggled to learn more about my diagnosis, fought off the greedy doctors who insisted I start chemo, and put my efforts instead into trying to make the right decisions for MY life, the entire debacle (and I don’t use that term loosely) turned out to be… …a blessing in disguise, and one of the best things that had ever happened to me. How can that be? The simple answer is that, as many know, I didn’t really have lymphoma, and I was able to figure that out. That was certainly a blessing, of course. But the bigger answer is that I recognized and embraced the invitation to really look…


 

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What You Should Know, But Haven’t Asked, about Patient Advocate Certification (And what does Goldilocks have to do with it?)

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What You Should Know, But Haven’t Asked, about Patient Advocate Certification (And what does Goldilocks have to do with it?)

There was big excitement last week as the launch for the first Patient Advocate Certification exam took place. From the massive email that went out on January 31 (1700+ people!) to the most-attended-ever APHA Expert Call-in called “Ask the PACB: Prep for the First Exam” – it’s clear there is huge interest in certification for our relatively new profession of health and patient advocacy. And that’s for good reason! As more and more people consider advocacy as a profession, it becomes imperative to identify, develop, and maintain the important standards and ethics required to keep the profession highly elevated and respected. One of the few ways we can do so is through development of a very rigorous expectation of standards and ethics, and then to make sure only the cream rises to the top through certification. That’s what the Patient Advocate Certification Board (PACB) has done. During registration for the Expert Call-in, registrants were invited to ask questions about the exam. During the call, every question they had posed was answered. (Find a link to the podcast, available to the public, below.) But there were a few questions no one asked. Their answers might support your ability to pass the exam, to earn your BCPA (Board Certified Patient Advocate credential), and to effectively promote your newly achieved certification when you do. I believe the reason they weren’t asked is because of some assumptions made that are untrue. Yes – we all know about assumptions! So here are the questions, with their answers, in no particular order. You’d do well to review them as you consider sitting for the certification exam. • Unanswered Question (Assumption) #1: Since I am a nurse (or doctor, or nurse practitioner, or some other type of provider) it will be easier for me to pass the exam. Not true – not true at all. Not only will it not be easier, but clinical training could get in the way of your exam-passing success. That’s because the exam is based on the standards and ethics of ADVOCACY, as defined by the PACB. For the same reason insurers…


 

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Ask the PACB: Prep for the First Exam

podcast and resources belowAPHA Expert Call-in

January 2018

With registration about to open for those who wish to take the inaugural Patient Advocate Certification exam, it’s time to prepare to succeed!

This APHA Expert Call-in will look to the experts who created the exam to answer questions you might have. This is an opportunity for you to get information from them about the focus of the exam, the eligibility requirements and how they were determined, locations for taking the exams, what materials you should study to prepare, and more.

Our guest experts will be the members of the PACB who developed the exam: Anne Llewellyn, Connie Sunderhaus, Malynnda Johnson, Christine North, and Trisha Torrey..

 

headset Podcast Available: 43 minutes   Note!  Please save this to your own computer to listen. Attempting to listen from the APHA website server may crash the server.
(Right click with your mouse - command-click on a Mac - and choose "save as" or "save link as").

 

  resources-sm Resources:

 

Discuss this topic:

connect-icon-smCheck in with APHA Members Connect! Discussion Forum

 

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The Last Four Myths About Starting an Independent Advocacy Practice

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The Last Four Myths About Starting an Independent Advocacy Practice

This is week 3 of our series, and includes the final four myths about starting, building, and growing an independent patient advocacy or care management practice. Week 1 (Myths 1, 2, and 3) is found here. Week 2 (Myths 4, 5, and 6) is found here. To remind you, these myths are based on the comments I’ve heard from advocates who (I’m sorry to say) failed at getting a practice started, not because they don’t know how to be good advocates (they do!) but because they tried to get started despite their misconceptions about what it would be like to do so. Here are the final four myths for you to consider, in hopes these misconceptions aren’t yours. Or, if they are, we hope this helps you reconsider, and take steps to be sure they don’t sink your advocacy practice. Myth #7:  You have to be a nurse to be an advocate. This is THE myth that refuses to die, no matter how many times I explain why it’s JUST NOT TRUE!  The only people who will ever tell you this are nurses, and too many nurses who tell you this do so in very catty, nasty ways – unless you, yourself, are also a nurse. I’ve addressed this question many times before: Do I Have to Be a Nurse to Be a Patient Advocate? (November 2011) Forum Fireworks Tackle the Question: Who Is Qualified to Be a Patient Advocate?  (November 2010) Remembering the Mean Girls (February 2015) You absolutely do NOT need to be a nurse (or have been a nurse in the past) to succeed as a patient advocate. Myth #8:  Advocacy is a one-person, solitary service. It’s easy because I can just do it myself! Check out this list of services health and patient advocates, and care managers, provide. Then you’ll believe me when I tell you that there is not one single person on this planet who can perform them all. Successful advocates spend their days MAKING CONNECTIONS – connections with clients, of course. But beyond that, they are connecting with other advocates whose skills complement their own,…


 

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No Diagnosis? It May Not Matter

This post has been shared by the AdvoConnection Blog. It was written with a patient-client audience in mind, but might be useful to you, too.

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No Diagnosis? It May Not Matter

Years ago I watched a movie called Serendipity.  It starred Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack. It was a “romcom” – and adorable – and it occurs to me that it sets the stage for today’s post. The story was about two young people who met in Bloomingdales while shopping, and through a series of events, they were attracted to each other, but never exchanged names. They then lost track of each other. Over the years they continued to think of each other – and eventually both went in search of each other, even though they didn’t know the other’s name. The unspoken belief was that they thought that by finding each other, the answers to all their questions in life would be solved. Too many of us have a similar belief, even if it has nothing to do with Bloomingdales or Serendipity. We have odd symptoms, the doctor can’t put a name to them, and we get continually more frustrated as our malady goes unnamed. Why do I have pain here?  Why does this fever recur? Where does this rash come from? Hey – I get it. I’m IN that lack-of-diagnosis boat!  When I was misdiagnosed in 2004 based on a strange lump that had been removed from my torso, the resulting conclusion was that I DIDN’T have something – I didn’t have cancer. Unfortunately, I was never given a viable answer on what I did have. To this day I do not have a diagnosis, despite recurring and similar lumps, which show up sometimes 2-3 times a year. So yes – I do understand that frustration! On the other hand, I may be very different from you because, honestly, I spend almost no time fretting about it. I don’t search for a diagnosis any more. There are a few reasons for that: So many people believe that if they can discover THE name for something, then doctors will know how to treat it, and possibly how to cure it. That’s not necessarily true. There are lots of conditions and diseases that have names for which there is no treatment. There may be treatment to relieve symptoms, but if you already know what the symptoms are, then knowing the name of the diagnosis is no more useful than not knowing it. So many people think the name will provide a cause for their illness or debilitation. That may be true,…


 

 

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3 More Myths About Building a Successful Independent Advocacy Practice

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3 More Myths About Building a Successful Independent Advocacy Practice

We began last week with this series of myths about starting, building, and growing an independent patient advocacy or care management practice. As a reminder, these myths are based on the comments I’ve heard from advocates who just couldn’t get a practice going – who (sad to say) failed – not because they don’t know how to be good advocates (they do!) but because they tried to get started despite their misconceptions about what it would be like to do so. This week we have three more of those myths for you to consider, in hopes these misconceptions aren’t yours. Or, if they are, helping you to get past them. Myth #4:  As soon as I tell people I’m going to be an advocate, my phone will begin to ring. So many new advocates decide to go into business, get excited feedback from family and friends at the prospect, then expect the phone will begin to ring. Honestly, of all the myths in our list, this is the one that surprises – and appalls me – the most. If any new advocates have started out with phones ringing that quickly, I don’t know about it. What I’ve heard instead is that the new advocate can’t believe phones haven’t begun to ring. They are surprised and, of course, upset. There are several reasons why phones don’t begin to ring, each of which stands on its own, but all of which, if combined with others, may mean the advocate’s phone will never ring. For one thing, who do they think is going to call?  The only people who know are family and friends; do they expect those family and friends are going to pay? I can’t imagine they do. What an awkward conversation that would be. It’s more likely they expect their friends and family to tell others – to refer them. But they don’t ask for that. They just assume it will happen. While word of mouth is the most powerful of marketing tactics, it has to be intentional. A mention to family and friends is just a start. To make…


 

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3 Myths About Building an Independent Advocacy Practice

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3 Myths About Building an Independent Advocacy Practice

The real shame of this new series of posts is that it’s the result of feedback from people who gave up on their dreams of starting and growing independent, private advocacy practices. The further shame is that all those patients who they might have helped will not get their help, and may never get what they need from the healthcare system. Over the years, hundreds of people have come and gone in our profession. My educated guess: for every 10 who take the early steps toward fulfilling their dreams, only 2 or 3 have succeeded. Further, the people one might expect would be the successes have, instead, given up. Why do so many walk away? Because before they started, they assumed things about starting and growing an independent practice that just aren’t true, usually without realizing they had made an assumption. So that’s our topic for the next few posts: The myths that too many advocate wannabes buy into, eventually forcing them to walk away from their dreams. We’ll begin with the first 3: Myth #1: Advocacy is just a service, so since I already know how to be an advocate, it won’t cost me anything to get started. If you think of advocacy as sitting in a home office, talking on your home phone, and doing research on your personal computer, then you’re right, it doesn’t cost you much of anything. But that’s not what advocacy is. And doing no more than that sets you up to fail. Building a successful advocacy practice requires us to set the stage for being successful. It’s about investing in yourself to support your success. Start-up costs include marketing (including a website), developing financial processes (possibly hiring an accountant), obtaining liability insurance (which may cost you thousands of dollars), joining one or more professional organizations, and more. And if you think “do it yourself” means it’s free, think again. Succeeding means you understand and embrace the concept of “time is money.” If you’re spending time doing administrative tasks, then you aren’t working with a paying client. If you don’t have enough paying clients,…


 

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The Patient Advocate’s Version of “Time’s Up!”

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The Patient Advocate’s Version of “Time’s Up!”

It’s no surprise to any of us women who work for a living that sexual harassment and violence have been part of the fabric of our workplaces for our entire careers. With few exceptions, we have all had our “Me Too” experiences to one degree or another. And it doesn’t take more than a few seconds for our brains to take us back there to the anger, frustration, fear, and embarrassment we felt at the time. While my intent is not to co-opt the Time’s Up Movement for women in the workplace, I cannot pass up the opportunity to point out another space where people – all people (not just women) – are being abused and harassed on a daily basis. We, as health and patient advocates, all know where that space is. Today’s question is – what are we doing about it? Of course – it’s the Healthcare System The American healthcare system was originally set up to do one thing – heal. And yet – for way too many of its employees and customers alike – it is a place of harassment and abuse. If healing happens, it’s almost by luck, rather than by design. One needs only look at the rate of death or debilitation from medical errors (killing 400,000 Americans each year) to see that it’s not safe. If you ever spent any time working within the bureaucracy of healthcare as an employee, you might have been verbally abused by co-workers – other professionals who thought they were more impressive and powerful than you. Doctors dissing nurses. Supervisors harassing workers. Professionals being told to cover up mistakes and missteps. One of the many reasons new APHA members, formerly nurses, give for wanting to become independent advocates is that they cannot tolerate the hospital or medical office environments any more. Many feel as if they have been abused in some way by the system, including abuse from patients who react in anger to the way the system is abusing them. It’s a vicious cycle. If you have spent any time accessing the healthcare system for yourself or…


 

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Kickstarting 2018: The ONE Key Exercise that Will Propel Your Practice Success (and a giveaway, too!)

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Kickstarting 2018: The ONE Key Exercise that Will Propel Your Practice Success (and a giveaway, too!)

Happy New Year to you! And so begins another year of improving patients’ healthcare system outcomes in one way or another, and realizing we are making a huge difference in people’s lives! We’re going to dive right in to the new year looking at the ONE imperative exercise I have come to believe will make you successful. Can you commit? WILL you commit? It won’t cost you money (well, OK, maybe the cost of a latte.) It will cost you some time. And it will make all the difference in the world to your practice-building, the patients who need you, and our profession, too. The truth is:  if you want to be successful, your commitment is imperative. The Exercise It has become clearer and clearer in the recent past just why some people establish a practice successfully – vs – those who don’t get the ball rolling. And – I can sum that up in two words: Making Connections Making connections with other people is critical to your success. Whether it’s connecting with clients or caregivers, connecting with other advocates and care managers, or connecting with other professionals who work in our advocacy arena, those connections, and the results of outreach to them, are making the difference between practice success, and failure. Here’s how I know: When I look over those members of APHA who I know are successfully running an advocacy practice, every one of them works intentionally at making connections. Yes, Captain Obvious tells us that making connections with clients is key. But beyond that, successful folks are also reaching out to other advocates in a variety of ways, sometimes to ask questions, or to discuss client situations, to mentor, or even to subcontract with complementary services. Further, they are reaching out to other professionals like providers, or social workers, community service workers. They aren’t stopping there, either. They are reaching out to influencers like the media, or the clergy, or even politicians, key individuals for helping them build success. No Successful Advocate Is an Island I’ve dished on the “rising tide floats all boats” metaphor before. But…


 

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Lions, Tigers, and Insurance….Oh My!

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Lions, Tigers, and Insurance….Oh My!

(or why investing in the jungle of insurance competence is worthwhile for your practice) This post was contributed by Cindi Gatton, Pathfinder Patient Advocacy Group a mentor for those who are building an advocacy practice. Find Cindi’s Mentor Listing.   Occasionally when I’m asked the inevitable “What do you do?” at a party, I answer that I am a personal fire department for health care issues. Most calls to the fire department don’t come when people first smell smoke, but rather when someone sees flames. The reality I experience in my own practice is that many prospective clients aren’t motivated to pay for help until they see the flames. They either can’t smell the smoke, hope the smoldering will just go away, or feel their personal fire extinguisher will be enough to take care of it. Until it isn’t. When a prospective mentee contacts me, I want to know the scope of practice they want to offer. Most of us understand the value of offering services in the “care arena” – supporting second opinion navigation, condition research, medical decision making, building a medical team or facilitating communication with one. But when I ask about insurance services, a typical response is…


 

 

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Top 10 “Best Of” APHA Posts: 2017 in Review

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Top 10 “Best Of” APHA Posts: 2017 in Review

As 2017 comes to a close, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the blog posts you, my readers, considered to be most worth your reading time. Using post analytics, I’m able to see how many of you have read each of the 44 posts from 2017. Then, accommodating for the fact that some posts have been online for 11+ months, while others were just posted recently, it’s easy to tell which ones captured your imagination (or google’s search interest) to make the assessment. So here are the top 10 posts (well – OK – I did have trouble counting again), in chronological order, the oldest to the newest: Number 1: January We began with our advocacy version of the State of the Union: 2017 State of Patient Advocacy and the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates.  We reviewed the goals we had set for 2016, how well we did (or did not!) meet them, and some plans for building our profession for 2017.  These sort of posts are always interesting to look at in retrospect to see how well we might have predicted our future (which, of course, is now our past.) How do you think we did? Number 2: January From there, we took a look at what 2017 might bring with The 2017 Advocate’s Challenges where we looked at manners, damaging relationships, and communication problems. These are challenges most advocates face, all of chick can be overcome. So here we are at the end of 2017 – how did you do? Number 3:  January (yes – a good month for posts!) This was the first of two posts on the strength of women, entitled, Hey Little Girls: Yes, Women Can Be Brilliant! which came as a result of several triggers: research results that showed little girls doubt that premise, the movie Hidden Figures (LOVED that movie!), and a revealing discovery that advocates dislike asking for testimonials, even from very happy clients. Now, in light of these end-of-the-year revelations (or perhaps not so revelations) of so much sexual harrassment in the workplace – is it…


 

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Save Money and Time with These End of the Year Tasks

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Save Money and Time with These End of the Year Tasks

How is it possible we’ve reached the end of 2017 already? Why does it seem like the years zoom past us faster than the previous ones did? As we marvel at how quickly time passes, we, as small business owners will be wise to do some end-of-year clean up and planning tasks to help us accomplish a few things: Spend time now to save time later. Spend money now to possibly save money both this year and next year. Review our efforts to maximize our effectiveness – and our successes – in the new year. See how many of these tasks make sense for you: Records and Data Better file management will save you time, so take a look at how your digital records are being kept. Is it easy to get your hands on the information you need? If not, consider changing your filing system both on your computer and with your email. Keeping one folder for each client works well, and if you are uber-organized, you might consider keeping additional folders inside those, perhaps one for the work you perform, client reports, plus another for contracts or transactions and billing. Delete the information you just don’t need or will never need to access in the future. Now that your records are cleaned out and cleaned up – back everything up! Copy all your records onto a backup hard drive – a physical one. (If you don’t have one, you can purchase them very inexpensively. I have one that’s the size of a deck of cards, holds one full terabyte of information, and cost about $50.) Do not store records online (in the “cloud”) because they will not be secure, unless you are paying for secure storage (as determined by HIPAA requirements.) Finally, be sure to remove backed up files from your computer, especially from a laptop or tablet that leaves your office. Best practices suggest you keep those records for a minimum of 5 years. Income Taxes: Organize your receipts for your taxes (because you won’t want to take the time next year!) Be sure to separate business…


 

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What Matt Lauer Can Teach Us About Private, Independent Advocacy

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What Matt Lauer Can Teach Us About Private, Independent Advocacy

The shocking news last week (although not-so-shocking to some) that Matt Lauer had been kicked to the curb by NBC came in tandem with an email conversation with a newly minted health advocate who wanted to be listed in the AdvoConnection Directory, but who has a little (not so little) problem with her website and marketing materials. It struck me that Lauer’s behavior, as he faced accusations, even though the circumstances are NOT at all the same, provides a lesson to share with you. Of course, Lauer was jettisoned because he was hitting on women inappropriately using his status as a well-known TV professional and personality. Part of the surprise was that his dismissal came so quickly. No women had come forward publicly to accuse him. Further, it seemed he was let go before he had a chance to defend himself. Later we learned that NBC had previously discussed with him several rumors that this egregious behavior was taking place – but he had denied the allegations. Lauer had lied, plain and simple. Therefore, because his actions spoke far louder than his words, those actions caught up to him. Now he has paid the price. My email conversation with the new advocate was far different from Matt Lauer’s situation, of course. No nefarious or loutish behavior here! It was about three professionals with the best of intentions who want to do the right thing for people who need assistance as they navigate the healthcare system. But our discussion was based on the same adage – that actions speak louder than words, and that they can catch up to us. The advocate and her business partners are all physicians. Two are retired and no longer licensed. They have decided to work together to build an advocacy practice. I love that! The problem is that their website and practice brochures are riddled with photos of medical personnel – white coats, stethoscopes, and all. Further, the name of their company is a medical name, and the text throughout the website is about hiring doctors to help. There are no disclaimers. If you are…


 

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An Advocate’s Guide to CYA

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An Advocate’s Guide to CYA

One of the simplest best practices for patient advocates is also the one with the fuzziest line. Sometimes it can be difficult to know at what point that fuzzy line will be crossed, and since crossing it can lead to problems for a client, put a private advocate out of business, or even result in a lawsuit against the advocate, we need clearer definition to be sure we C our own As (that is, CYA = Cover Your A**.) Let me explain. Recently I heard from an advocate member of APHA with a question about billing her client. She had accompanied him to a second opinion appointment, and he had balked at her charges for that service. The client, a man of 70+ years, had depended on his advocate to help him resolve some strange symptoms he was having. So I asked the advocate to walk me through the work. She told me, “Finally I made an appointment for him with a friend of mine who is a dermatologist” …which made me raise my eyebrows… I asked her what sort of discussion she had with her client before she made the appointment. “We didn’t need a discussion. He was having trouble with this, this, and this, and that just made the most sense,” she told me. “He needed another opinion and I thought my friend could provide that.” Except – that’s what the client was disputing. He believed the visit to the dermatologist was a waste of time because no opinion was rendered except a suggestion the client see an endocrinologist instead. Dermatology was the wrong specialty for the symptoms. “Did you talk to your client about other second opinion possibilities?” I asked. “Who decided he should see your friend?” She ignored my question. “Well – I went to the appointment with him so I think he should pay my bill.” (I expect you are beginning to see the problem here…) I asked what made her think he needed a dermatologist. She then described his symptoms, but never mentioned a conversation with her client, or any recommendations that might have…


 

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5 Little Words Save Money on Healthcare

This post has been shared by the AdvoConnection Blog. It was written with a patient-client audience in mind, but might be useful to you, too.

It is provided so you can find it in a search here at myAPHA.org, but you'll need to link to the original post to read it in its entirety.

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5 Little Words Save Money on Healthcare

‘Tis the season of making health insurance choices, and the nexus of money and healthcare is on our minds. We’re focused on making sure we find a policy that covers us, but doesn’t over-cover us so we pay too much. It’s about those things that can be planned (the drugs we take, the regular medical appointments we keep). Plus an extra accounting for those things we may not plan for, but may have to deal with, like accidents, or grave diagnoses. But today’s post is quite different for helping to keep our overall costs lower. It’s about how we maximize our healthcare dollars in general. Bottom line: No one wants to spend one penny more on healthcare than is necessary, right? So today’s advice is simple. Five little words: Stay out of the hospital. Now – I don’t mean that in the snarky “don’t get sick and it won’t be too expensive” way. I mean – there are services people turn to a hospital to provide that just costs them (and the system, too) way too much money! I’m talking about services that have always been provided by hospitals, but no longer require a hospital to provide them. Examples: People with no primary care doctor too often show up in hospital emergency rooms when they become fearful of symptoms and don’t know where else to turn. But they might just have a bad cold or upper-respiratory problem, or it might be an allergy, or a bug bite, or possibly their blood sugar gets too low and they faint… and later they get sky-high bills. Or…. Labwork is ordered by a doctor – blood work, urinalysis, others…. Not knowing where else to go, and since the doctor’s office is right across the street, some patients will head over to the hospital for their lab work, only to find out later that the lab work at the hospital cost an arm and a leg. Or…. Imaging is required – maybe an annual mammogram, or a bone scan, or a lung or heart scan… Hospital imaging centers would love for you to use their facilities!  But you’ll pay a premium for something that would have cost far less in another center. Stay out of the hospital. In all those cases, there are alternatives, most of which will accept your insurance: A free-standing clinic or urgent care center will cost less. Freestanding labs cost…


 

 

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5 Lousy Excuses for Walking Away from an Advocacy Practice – and 1 Very Good One

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Link to the original full length post.


5 Lousy Excuses for Walking Away from an Advocacy Practice – and 1 Very Good One

The blame game has been on my mind recently after several emails or phone conversations, plus the results of an exit survey offered when APHA memberships expire. In all cases, people gave reasons (as in, excuses) for why they felt like it was time to give up their practices or let their memberships expire. In almost every case where someone actually started a practice, then decided to step away, they blame some part of their practice that didn’t work out. They wanted to be independent advocates. They certainly expected to succeed when they got started. Their passion and drive were clearly there!  But – they failed. And there is always a reason, or more like a lousy excuse. It makes me sad, because they have given up dreams, because there will be people who don’t get the help they need, and because if they had been more diligent, those negatives didn’t need to happen. Thus today’s post. Because the rest of us can learn so much from lousy excuses!  Here are five of them (in no particular order), along with the reasons why they don’t hold water.  Plus one great reason to walk away – one we can all admire. Here are the excuses I hear, and a response to each. Lousy Excuse #1. Healthcare changes so fast I can’t keep up with it. Seriously? The whole point of being a professional advocate is knowing the basics of the system. The truth is, the basics don’t change that much. The details might change, but they generally adhere to the “follow the money” rule. For the most part, staying in touch with your profession by being part of a professional organization, or subscribing to professional listserves or discussion forums, or reading blogs, or even just the news – these are important requirements for any profession. In that way the amount of change advocates must keep pace with is no more or less than any other profession. And don’t forget – one of the most important reasons someone hires an advocate is because clients fear those changes. It’s worthwhile staying up with…


 

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Thinking About Developing a Patient Advocate Service?

This post has been shared by the APHA Mentor's Blog. It was written to help you start and grow an advocacy practice.

It is provided so you can find it in a search here at myAPHA.org, but you'll need to link to the original post to read it in its entirety. Find the link to that post at the end of the excerpt.

Link to the original full length post.

 


Thinking About Developing a Patient Advocate Service?

This post was contributed by Karen Mercereau, RN Patient Advocates A mentor for those who are building an advocacy practice.   Undoubtedly you are passionate about the role and determined to help people survive the medical system as well as possible. What do I mean about survive? You may already know that the Academy of Medicine report (2115) that states there are 12 million misdiagnoses in the US annually and that there are up to 440,000 deaths due in full or part to preventable medical errors (Dr. John James, 2013). Your clients will not know enough to protect themselves in this environment. Your work will enable them to have a safer journey through the system. To best serve your clients/families, you will need a process to follow, your own guide to a therapeutic approach. So, what is your plan to help, to advocate for your clients? One of the most important elements of developing your advocacy practice is to create and develop this process that will guide your steps in advocating for people. One of the critical elements in your process is an intake procedure and accompanying paperwork. What should be in that intake paperwork? Well, certainly name, address, emergency…


 

 

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Thinking About Developing a Patient Advocate Service?

This post has been shared by the APHA Mentor's Blog. It was written to help you start and grow an advocacy practice.

It is provided so you can find it in a search here at myAPHA.org, but you'll need to link to the original post to read it in its entirety. Find the link to that post at the end of the excerpt.

Link to the original full length post.

 


Thinking About Developing a Patient Advocate Service?

This post was contributed by Karen Mercereau, RN Patient Advocates A mentor for those who are building an advocacy practice.   Undoubtedly you are passionate about the role and determined to help people survive the medical system as well as possible. What do I mean about survive? You may already know that the Academy of Medicine report (2115) that states there are 12 million misdiagnoses in the US annually and that there are up to 440,000 deaths due in full or part to preventable medical errors (Dr. John James, 2013). Your clients will not know enough to protect themselves in this environment. Your work will enable them to have a safer journey through the system. To best serve your clients/families, you will need a process to follow, your own guide to a therapeutic approach. So, what is your plan to help, to advocate for your clients? One of the most important elements of developing your advocacy practice is to create and develop this process that will guide your steps in advocating for people. One of the critical elements in your process is an intake procedure and accompanying paperwork. What should be in that intake paperwork? Well, certainly name, address, emergency…


 

 

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