Playing Favorites

Posted by:

angelIf you’re a parent, you know you’ve been asked this question:

Which of your children is your favorite?

Of course, there’s no way to answer that question!  Because even if you have a favorite, you’d never fess up!  As a parent, you do your utmost to be fair and equitable….

(We all know who our OWN parents’ favorite child is/was. My sister was my mother’s favorite. She was sweet, and quiet, and well behaved.  And I was… well… not.)

This week I was contacted with two different requests for referrals to APHA members, which means I am expected to pick favorites….

It occurred to me that perhaps you’d like to know how I handle the “I don’t have a favorite advocate” response….

The first was a contact from the media.  A specific question that could be answered by a patient advocate or navigator, a general question that would then be highlighted in a publication… So how would I choose the best person for the reporter to contect?  Which of our 400+ members of the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates would I “anoint” as the person to get some publicity?

The second was a request from a colleague – Christina deMoraes of the International Medical Tourism Chamber of Commerce was looking for an advocate to work with a patient coming from outside the US to Orlando.  Could I recommend who she should contact?

Ho-boy.  You know, in both cases (and in all the other opportunities that come along this way) it’s tough!  Because we have many members I have met and have gotten to know – and many I don’t.

Yet, I need to be fair to one and all. So here’s how I handle these kinds of cases, just so you know:

Continue Reading →


What Do Insurance and Success Strategies Have in Common?

Posted by:

armsI know.  Those two terms – insurance and success strategies – rarely show up in the same sentence in the patient advocate world, right?

So bear with me.

I follow a company called IDEO on Twitter.  @IDEO is a creative think-tank which credits its enormous success to its corporate values. When IDEO talks, those-in-the-know listen.

Recently IDEO’s CEO, Tim Brown, shared a marvelous lesson, and it’s particularly useful for advocates. The reason this particular lesson is so appropriate for us is because there are so few of us, and because we are all striving to create success by building a model that hasn’t existed before now.

So what was Tim’s lesson?  It’s titled, “The Secret to Your Success? Make Others Successful.”

“…Helping others to be successful benefits you, too. Even the most brilliant person occasionally gets “stuck.” In a culture that values the lone genius, where politics and rivalries rule, no one is motivated to help that person get “unstuck.” Projects stall and good ideas languish. 

In an ecosystem where helping others is the norm, however, everyone benefits….”

He goes on to explain that when he interviews job applicants, he listens for the terms “we” and “us” because it indicates a generosity and the ability to give credit where credit is due.

Are you generous of spirit?  It would seem that advocates, by their very nature, would be. After all, we work hard to help others… however….

Continue Reading →


Mid-Year Resolution Check Up – What Have You Accomplished?

Posted by:

goalAt the mid-year point, past the July 4th holiday…. time to take stock.

All those resolutions I made on January 1 – how have I done? How many have I checked off my list?

True confession time: I have NOT lost all that weight I was planning to lose this year, nor have I quit smoking (well, seriously – I never started so I didn’t really have to quit anyway). I’m not saving any more money this year than last, and I haven’t read the Bible or War And Peace.

Yikes. Time to get a move-on.

OK – your turn. How are YOU doing with your resolutions as we make our way into the second half of the year?

Of course, I have my excuses…. don’t we all?

As business owners, we have our goals for any given year, too.  You might have determined that this year you wanted to:

Continue Reading →


What Private Patient Advocates Can Learn from Paula Deen*

Posted by:

pauladeenHey y’all!

If someone had asked you on the June 20, 2013 to describe Paula Deen, you might have described her as a bubbly, vivacious, popular Food Network star, author, well-merchandised cook or chef.  Whether or not you liked her, and no matter what you thought of her approach to food, you at least had to admire her empire and popularity.

Over the next week, her empire collapsed, seemingly because she fessed up to using the N-word during a lawsuit deposition.*

The bigger they are, the harder they fall.  It makes no difference whether or not Deen’s fall was fair or right. It happened.  It remains to be seen whether she can recapture what she had.

We can think of other well-known people who have “fallen” too.  Tiger Woods, OJ Simpson, even Martha Stewart and Bill Clinton.  With varying success they have come back to their original popularity, although for the rest of their lives, their names will always be accompanied by an asterisk.

Do you see any patterns?  Except that they were all “big” – until they weren’t – it seems their only similarity is that each made a misstep, even though their missteps were entirely different.

But let’s look at the bigger picture here, because it’s through the bigger picture that you’ll see why this point is important to you and your patient advocacy practice.

Continue Reading →


We Get By With a Little Help from Our Friends

Posted by:

ringo(Can’t you just hear Ringo in your ear? and yes, if you understand that reference, you’re dating yourself!)

This week I was reminded several times about all the folks who are trying to develop their patient advocacy practices on their own, thinking they need to conquer it all by themselves.

They don’t.  They shouldn’t. And they run the risk of failing in business until they start thinking differently.

Here’s why:

  • Patient Advocacy is a time-intensive, hands-on undertaking.  Each client needs a great deal of attention, usually immediately.  Yet time isn’t something we can find more of; there are still only 24 hours in the day.
  • Patient Advocacy is intense, and no one person can be that intense 24/7/365.  To stay healthy ourselves, physically and mentally, we need down time, and relaxation time, self-care time.
  • Life happens.  We all deal on occasion with family emergencies or last minute “surprises”.  Like times we ourselves might get sick, or when a family member needs us.
  • Patient Advocacy represents many skills and broad knowledge, far more than any one single person can know or do by him or herself.
  • (add your own reason here)

Unfortunately, too many of us learn this the hard way.  An accident, a sudden illness, a death in the family….

If you were pulled away from your business tomorrow, who would keep it afloat for you?

Continue Reading →

Page 35 of 58 «...1020303334353637...»