Your Independent Advocacy or Care Management Practice in a Time of Coronavirus / COVID-19

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This post updated March 21, 2020.  See update below.


During the past week, as the coronavirus / COVID-19 crisis has taken over our lives, I have heard from many advocates who are taking all the steps needed to stay safe, who tell me they are recommending such steps to others, and that (in the words of one) they are “just planning to wait it out until this all blows over.”

No NO No No No! 

That is NOT the right thinking for smart practice owners!  In fact, it’s just the opposite of how we should be looking at our world right now, as follows:

We are in the throes of a health crisis!  A crisis is a crisis – and if you are someone who calls yourself a professional, working in the health and medical space, then this is the PRIME TIME to step up, to become pro-active – and to shine!  This is NOT the time to wait for the crisis to blow over!

In fact, I would go so far as to say it is a violation of an advocate’s ethics and standards to just step back and not prepare to help the patients and families who need us now more than ever.

Now, granted, I realize that all we are hearing is that we should go home, to self-isolate, and to social distance ourselves, etc.  But that does not mean we stop our advocacy!

The two – being pro-active advocates, and staying safe – do not have to be mutually exclusive. And THAT is today’s message.

In the coming weeks and months, we/APHA will be bringing you resources, ideas, mindsets, cheerleading, and whatever it takes to be sure that:

  1. You keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
  2. You are prepared – because this COVID-19 tsunami will affect all advocates and their businesses.
  3. You can continue working, helping the patients and families who need you, and keeping your practice healthy, too, so that, on the other side, you are in a good position to continue succeeding in practice.

We’ll begin by highlighting APHA Master Resources – where we have categorized and curated resources:

Coronavirus / COVID-19 Resources and Best Practices for Advocates and Care Managers

Further, we invite you to join us in the APHA Connect! Discussion Forum. Members and Non-Members* alike can ask questions, answer questions, make comments and recommendations – a great way to network while you are working at home and wanting to reach out to other, like-minded individuals. (No comments will be accepted on this post. Please post instead to the Discussion Forum*.)

Are you with me? I hope so!  This crisis could be THE situation that propels us as professionals in ways we could never have accomplished on our own.

Let’s do this thing!


*If you are not a member of APHA, you can register to participate in the Forum here. There is no cost to you.


March 21, 2020

Responses to the email above indicate many advocates are beginning to emerge from your “OMG” moments and trying to figure out how to get started, to prepare yourselves for what is to come.  GREAT!

Here’s a start – a good idea for getting your head into the right space while you help others: Research local pharmacies, their hours, their delivery options, and phone numbers. Do some outreach to current and pending clients (call, text, or email) to ask them about their supply of their regular, daily meds, and to remind them they will need to stock up. Lead times for refills may be longer during this crisis, so early-ordering is essential.

Then help them order refills if you can. Pharmacies that offer delivery are a good choice – as long as the receiver (client or family member) throws away any packaging upon delivery and washes their hands carefully after doing so. Whether you want to chance taking care of delivery yourself is entirely up to you. If you decide to handle delivery for them, be sure to take all necessary precautions yourself (like leaving the delivery in a safe place but not handing it off directly) and remind them of what to do once you have delivered.

Some clients use electronic ordering (Express Scripts, CVS, Pharmerica, and others) in which case you may not be able to help. However, your outreach will be a good reminder for them to check their supply, and they will remember you are available should they need help with any sort of future healthcare system troubles, whether or not those are related to COVID-19.

Do you have suggestions for making this work even better?  Join us in the Discussion Forum!  (If you aren’t registered, you can do that here.)

Don’t forget, too, that we are compiling resources for all advocates:Coronavirus / COVID-19 Resources and Best Practices for Advocates and Care Managers