Home > patient advocacy > The Great Divide: The Haves and Have Nots

The Great Divide: The Haves and Have Nots

The health and patient advocates who are listed at AdvoConnection are all private practice advocates; that is, they work directly for patients and the patients pay them.  Their services are not covered by insurance, their services aren’t donated or free.  This is how these advocates make a living – they are paid by patients or caregivers.

That seems to upset some people, and lately, it seems like a number of people have taken some sort of offense at that idea – as if patients or caregivers should not have the right to seek private help for their navigation through the healthcare system, or should not be able to call on someone to help them organize, or decrease their medical bills…. or that the very talented group of AdvoConnection members should not have the right to start a business offering the services they want to offer.


Here are the reasons I believe that attitude is so misguided:


Read the rest of this post at its new location:


Categories: patient advocacy
  1. June 6, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Trishia, I agree with you. Today, people want to have a say in thier healthcare and are willing to pay to have someone help them navigate the healthcare system.

  2. June 6, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Bravo! What a clear and powerful statement of reality Trisha. And one of the reasons that I had chosen more 11 years ago to define the services I provide as “Care Navigation” and not patient advocacy. That I am a “Healthcare Navigation Specialist” who provides many things, one being advocacy. Its been my experience that the use of the word advocate or advocacy somehow means “free of charge” or non-profit. And there is no such assumption with Care Navigation.

  3. June 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Most of the advocates I know and train have done “set-asides” of slots for people they work with that are “low-fee/no-fee” to address this issue. Yes, we need to make a living, but that doesn’t mean we can’t thoughtfully look at allocation of our services and skills. Healthcare Liaison is a social entrepreneurship, so a percentage of the profits goes to the Grameen Foundation (www.grameenfoundation.org) for micro-loans in developing countries. That’s only one way to address this situation–I”m sure people have developed many more. Ideas out there??

  4. Dwight K. Hamborsky Jr.
    June 11, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    As a former Psychologist I can tell you most people expect to pay for a service provided by a trained professional. Since developing my new career as a Patient Advocate I do not expect to charge what I did in practice but a reasonable fee for service should be expected by the public. The State has many Social Workers that can provide advice if the patient has the time and patience to leave voice mail messages that may or may not be returned, but for the person that wants personal service ASAP a professional Patient Advocate is the first choice. I also have found that many Sons and Daughters of patients will need the services of an advocate in there absence to report on the care being recieved at Assisted Living facilities and Hospitals. They welcome the chance to pay some one to be their for them to assist .
    Dwight K. Hamborsky Jr.

  5. June 24, 2011 at 4:08 am

    Whether an individual can afford to retain the services of an advocate on their behalf or not, is a diversionary tactic being used by those who are being held accountable by the advocate, who is looking out for the health and welfare of the patient.

    We are a service society, yet many people who are providing the service forget that they are being employed by those whom they serve. The advocate is not only looking out for the patient, he/she is also protecting the provider from negligence.

    Retaining the services of an advocate is making a statement the medical community does not want to hear: “I don’t trust you doctor,” therefore I have a second set of eyes double checking.

  6. June 24, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    The reason to hire an advocate is because medicine has become too complex with choices people simply don’t have the tools to understand. If someone comes to me who really doesn’t trust their doctor(s), then I would say one of my first tasks is to help them get to an physician or healthcare system that they do trust. And I would move heaven and earth to make that happen. …..

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