Patient Advocates, Income Tax Deductions and Guide Dogs

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Yes – it’s early in the tax season in the United States.  Some of us have probably already filed our income taxes. Some have piled up those 1099s and W-2s and are mustering up the courage to make an appointment with our tax preparers.  And others are saying, “Please don’t remind me!”

But let’s not forget – it’s tax season for our clients, too, many of whom have accumulated enough medical expenses that they may be asking whether or not they can deduct your health or patient advocacy, navigation or medical billing review services from their taxes.

Good question, right?  Have you ever thought of yourself as someone else’s tax deduction?  (Well – OK – your parents took deductions for you, but….)  That’s what we need to know….  are patient or health advocates’ or navigators’ services deductible from income taxes?

The answer is – maybe, and maybe not.  For 2011 taxes (filed in 2012) there is no real answer, but there are definite possibilities.

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Watching the Headlines for Opportunities

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A link on Twitter precipitated today’s post and idea for you.  It contains a challenge, too!  See below.

The tweet linked to a news article: A second set of eyes cuts errors at HCMC.  It tells about an initiative at Hennepin County Medical Center (Minneapolis) that cut the medication errors found in patients’ discharge paperwork from 92 percent – to zero. 0.  Nada. No medication errors.  Impressive.

Now, if you or your patient-client happens to be discharged from Hennepin County Medical Center, that’s great news.

But the article got me wondering – what about the other 99.999 percent of discharged hospital patients in the world?  How many other hospitals have such horrendously dangerous medication error rates in the discharge paperwork given to their departing patients?

And then an a-ha moment…  Continue Reading →

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