Bogus Claims Will Come Back to Bite You

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(This post is being published in May 2020 – in the midst of the pandemic – when many advocates are working from home, and hopefully taking time to update and improve their business practices. I hope the message here rings true for those of you – the few of you – who need it, and that necessary changes will be made accordingly.)

True confessions here! I met my husband on Match.com. We met and married in 2006. Today we continue to live our happily ever after.

Prior to meeting him, I dated a handful of other (so-called) gentlemen I met on Match.com who weren’t “all that”. And, sad to say, (or, at the time, what seemed appalling to me) when I met them in person, after reading their profiles and seeing the photos they had posted, I was amazed at how much they had either stretched the truth or, in a couple of cases, out-and-out lied. From posting photos that made them look 30 lbs lighter or 20 years younger, to claiming they were far younger than they were, to saying they were widowed or divorced, only to learn they were really married… yikes.

(I had to wonder how little regard they had for me, or any other woman they hoped to connect with, that they didn’t think we’d ever figure out the truth? Then what?)

So what does this have to do with building an advocacy practice?

Plenty.

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You May Be a Criminal Without Even Knowing It

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You’re probably shaking your head… Criminal? Seriously? Of course you haven’t broken the law!  You’re a law-abiding citizen and would never consider doing such a thing!

And yet, there may be hundreds of you who have done just that.

Further, you would deny it – until you learn the facts.

The facts, described here, may help you get back in line with the law if it’s required.

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Raise Your Dues So We Can Turn the Titanic?

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Heard on the street (and on the phone, and during and in-person conversation, and by text….)

IFs and THENs:

If [the healthcare system] was just ______, then ______ !

You’ll have your own variations to fill in there, like:

  • If healthcare was less expensive, then more people could get care!
  • If doctors would spend more time with me, then I could get my questions answered!
  • If insurance would just cover it, then my client could get the treatment she needs!
  • If there were more specialists to cover my ailment, then I wouldn’t have to wait so long for an appointment!

…. and the list goes on and on.

In the 15 years I’ve been working in patient empowerment and advocacy, I have been asked hundreds of times to work on fixing those kinds of problems. I’ve been invited to Washington, DC. I’ve been asked to sit on committees, I’ve been hired as a consultant…

However!

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Revisiting the Mean Girls in Our New Advocacy Environment

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The “mean girls” are at it again… or so I’ve been warned by a handful of APHA members.

I’m not sure I agree. But I know one thing for sure: the world of the mean girls has shifted.

Who are the “mean girls?”  I first applied the moniker about three years ago to refer to nurses who believed that no one should be a patient advocate unless he or she is a nurse. I cited instances when a small handful of nurses had bullied other non-nurse advocates both at conferences, and through emails – yes, actively bullied. I outlined once and for all, and very specifically, all the reasons one does not need to be a nurse to be an effective patient advocate. None of that has changed.

Now – because in the past I have been accused of stepping on nurses’ toes when I bring this up (which is never my intention) – let me be perfectly clear. I LOVE nurses! I LOVE their passion and commitment to improving the lives and quality of lives of their patients! I respect nurses for their knowledge, experience, and abilities! And I wholeheartedly support their segue into the world of independent advocacy, with gratitude that they are willing to move to the bright side.

I am also very sure that the “mean girl” concept applies only to a VERY small handful; and certainly not to all nurse-patient-advocates.

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3 More Myths About Building a Successful Independent Advocacy Practice

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We began last week with this series of myths about starting, building, and growing an independent patient advocacy or care management practice.

As a reminder, these myths are based on the comments I’ve heard from advocates who just couldn’t get a practice going – who (sad to say) failed – not because they don’t know how to be good advocates (they do!) but because they tried to get started despite their misconceptions about what it would be like to do so.

This week we have three more of those myths for you to consider, in hopes these misconceptions aren’t yours. Or, if they are, helping you to get past them.

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