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The Two Pieces of Advice You Will Ignore – Until You Are Burned
Consider these scenarios: Scenario #1. Jane calls you, in a panic. Her mother, age 88, who lives in your city, has fallen at her nursing home. Mother Frederick has been hospitalized, but Jane can’t get there until late tomorrow and wonders if you would be willing to help her mother until Jane can get there. Of course you can! This is the very reason you are an advocate. (Alternatively, Jane asks you to review her mother’s medical bills because she’s afraid her mother’s insurance isn’t covering everything it needs to cover. You, as a medical billing specialist, agree eagerly to help out.) Scenario #2. You’re so excited! You’ve just learned about patient advocacy as a profession and you know it’s a perfect way for you to make some extra money. So you start asking your friends if they like the idea – they all do – they think it’s a great idea! You sit down and do the math… and decide that yup – let’s go – I’m going to be a patient advocate! You find your first client, Mr. Howard, and you help him to the max! He is thrilled with the work you did for him. You know you’ve made the right choice. Patient advocacy is for you. Question #1: Do you see yourself in either scenario? So let’s continue…. Back to scenario #1: You follow through, making sure you have all the proper signatures in place – one on the contract including an agreed upon fee, HIPAA-required signatures, etc. You make contact with Mother Frederick, visit her in the hospital, coordinate with Mother’s providers and when Jane arrives to take over, you make the transition of care to her. (Or, you meet with Mother Frederick, collect all her bills, EOBs and a copy of her coverage, then you organize all the information, correct 14 of the bills, get her balances squared away, and report back to Jane.) Once the work is done, you go back to your office, draw up the invoice, and deliver it to Jane. Back to scenario #2: Mr. Howard asked you to help…