The Affordable Care Act / Obamacare Defines Perfect Roles for Private Professional Patient Advocates

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ACAThe healthcare reform law called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – or Obamacare if you prefer the moniker (preferences seem to run about 50/50) – is being implemented over time. Of course, as most of us realize, the major portion described as the individual mandate, kicks in January 1, 2014 – only a few months from now.

No matter how you feel about the legislation for your personal situation, you owe it to yourself to become familiar with the aspects of the law that define excellent roles for health advocates, no matter what type of advocacy they practice – medical navigational, research or decision-making, medical billing, hospital bedside advocacy or others.

Last week, members of the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates were privileged to spend an hour with Linda Adler, a member of the Alliance, who has studied healthcare reform long and hard, talking about the important aspects of the ACA that clients may ask about, talking about resources to help answer client questions, and then, importantly, the many opportunities the ACA creates to help advocates market our advocacy practices.

It was one of the most useful hours any of us have spent in a long time.

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Stealing Not Allowed

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plagiarismSuppose you wake up one morning, and realize as you make your way to the kitchen that someone has broken in overnight and stolen your belongings!

You never heard anything – you slept right through it. And yet, they’ve taken some of your most valued possessions.

You feel violated. You’ve lost your sense of security. It’s a disruption, it’s disturbing, it makes you feel sick….

You try to figure out exactly what is missing, what exactly they have taken, and you wonder whether you’ll ever get any of it back or even more importantly, whether you can ever feel safe in your own home again.

They’ve not only stolen your stuff, they have destroyed your peace of mind.

Very upsetting.

I’ve been fortunate.  (Knock wood) no one has ever broken into my home.  But I’ve felt that same sense of violation and it forever altered my peace of mind….


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Obamacare Seeks Navigators – Is There a Role for You?

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navigationIt seems that word is getting out about one of the aspects of the Affordable Care Act that hasn’t been highlighted much before now.  That is, the role of “navigators” and “in-person assisters” as they are called by the government.  Many of the folks who read this blog are interested in whether there is a role for them (especially whether they can make any money from such a role!)

The answer is – maybe – but probably not.  Because these “navigators” may not be what you think (or hope!) they are.

Here’s why:

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Imagine a Friend’s Night Out and Dial-a-Mentor All Rolled Into One

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popuppeopleYou’ve run into a hurdle with your advocacy work. Maybe your client has a challenge you can’t seem to solve for him, or the hospital is standing between you and your client’s medical records…. Or maybe you are just stuck for a good marketing idea, and you know you’ve got an opportunity, you just can’t get your arms around it…. Maybe you have a special interest topic in advocacy, like mental health, or legal mediation, or insurance claims or…. yes, I could go on and on.

You need resources – but where can you go to find the help you need?  Where can you find the person with the answer? Where can you find like-minded advocates…. Or sometimes, just when you’re struggling with one business problem or another, where can you go to just talk to someone else who might be able to lend a hand?

What if it was a simple as dialing the phone?

Well – now it is. Last week we kicked off Pop Up Conversations for members of the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates – ways to connect with each other by phone, as needed, on any topic of your choosing.

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Is Patient Advocacy Certification on the Horizon?

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certificationsealThe quick answer to that question:  it depends on how far away you define horizon.

The more accurate answer to that question:  a definite maybe.

The more exciting answer to that question:  yes!

And now everyone’s favorite – answering a question with another question:  That depends. Will you get involved?

No promises here – but at least a good head start.

A notice is being sent to thousands of patient and health advocates and navigators over the next several days, providing them with the status of a new certification or credential-development initiative, and – very importantly – inviting them to participate in the process.

That may mean YOU!

Here’s where you can get all the information available about this exciting initiative:

Why don’t you consider getting involved?

As for what exists today?
Link here to learn about the status of a
nationally recognized patient advocacy certification.

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