Archive

Archive for February, 2011

MORE Magazine Article – Blessings and Missed Opportunities

February 26, 2011 1 comment

One of our AdvoConnection members, Elisabeth Russell, is featured in the March issue of MORE Magazine.  The story of her journey toward becoming a patient navigator is worth reading.  I dare you not to choke up when you read about her daughter’s diagnosis and treatment results.  A true blessing – and very well written.  (Thank you MORE Magazine!)

But there were some real mistakes in the sidebar information – and they need to be pointed out.  Potential patient advocates and navigators can get the wrong picture from what’s there.  At this point in our growth as a career, it’s important these facts be set straight.

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Who Deserves a Patient Advocate’s Help?

February 14, 2011 2 comments

I’ve wrestled with this question more than once.  It’s the question raised on occasion by those who talk about universal healthcare, and a for-profit healthcare system.  It’s a question asked by those who are concerned that not everyone in the United States has access to healthcare.  It’s asked by almost anyone who asks me what I do for a living.

The question is, “Doesn’t providing private patient advocacy services only to those who can afford them, just create one more division between the “haves” and the “have nots?”

Lots of soul searching, and more than a few conversations have produced the definitive answer to that question.  The answer is:

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Can a True Patient Advocate Be Paid by Someone Else?

February 5, 2011 1 comment

Several questions have come my way recently about what kinds of job opportunities might exist for patient advocates.  I refer people to an article I’ve written elsewhere, but the real answer is – to be a true advocate, you must analyze who is paying for your services, and what your responsibility will be to them.

Finding an Employer

In 2011, most of the job possibilities for patient advocates are found either with hospitals or insurance companies.  Hospitals have, for a long time, employed patient advocates, sometimes called patient representatives, who are tasked with helping patients.  And word comes from an AdvoConnection member, through our Forum, that beginning in 2014 with healthcare reform, insurance companies will be required to have patient navigators on their staffs if they want to participate in insurance exchanges. Some have already begun to hire advocates.

But here’s the problem with those jobs.

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